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city palate T H E







the entertaining issue

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contents City Palate January February 2014



26 n Great Cheap Eats Two can eat well for $50 or less

28 n City Palate's 20 for 20 Colossal Culinary Crossword Play to win!

34 n Soup's On!

Top Athletes COME TO EAT!

Ellen Kelly

38 n Going Crackers

The non-cook makes crackers because it’s so freaking easy! Kathy Richardier

40 n Food for Dummies

“I can’t believe you BOUGHT that!” Debby Waldman

42 n A Resolution to Party


44 n Valentine’s Day: Roman Good Times


How food industry peeps celebrate when off the clock Dan Clapson

Karen Ralph

46 n The Prairie Regional Barista Competition

Shelley Boettcher

Cover artist: Calgary native Dean Stanton has been eating cheaply for well over 30 years. In between bites, he continues to spread his colourful artwork around town. Find him at

BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER CATERING 403-265-3474 Bridgeland 903 General Ave NE

Calgary Farmers’ Market 510 77th Ave SE

Pictured above: Denny Morrison, Jesse Lumsden, Jason Zaran (The Main Dish owner), Chris Spring, and Mellisa Hollingsworth




editor Kathy Richardier ( publisher Gail Norton (


magazine design Carol Slezak, Yellow Brick Studios (


contributing editor Kate Zimmerman contributing writers Karen Anderson Shelley Boettcher Dan Clapson Tom Firth Nicole Gomes Ellen Kelly Geoff Last Karen Ralph Allan Shewchuk Julie Van Rosendaal Debby Waldman



contributing photographers Carol Slezak Kathy Richardier for advertising enquiries, please contact account executives Ellen Kelly ( Liz Tompkins ( Janet Henderson (



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contents City Palate January February 2014


9 n word of mouth

Notable culinary happenings around town


11 n eat this

What to eat in January and February Ellen Kelly

12 n drink this

Mighty malbec Tom Firth

14 n get this

Must-have kitchen stuff Karen Anderson

16 n one ingredient

Dates Julie Van Rosendaal

city palate

20 n feeding people

1993 – 2013

Rack roasting Gail Norton


22 n the sunday project

Making your own pasta with Nicole Gomes


48 n stockpot

Stirrings around Calgary

52 n last meal

Keep it simple and seasonal Geoff Last

54 n back burner... shewchuk on simmer

Change of life? Allan Shewchuk

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Calling all

back-of-the-house restaurant cooks!

Ever wondered what a fresh baguette tastes like from a Paris bakery? Or how tuna is prepared by the sushi chefs in Tokyo? Or why Morocco is the spice capital of the world?

City Palate can help you further your culinary education with a Culinary Travel Grant to help pay for your travel and expenses. Applying is easy - go to for details! Deadline for entries: March 21st, 2014. We look forward to hearing from you.



Grand Re-Opening: January 2014 Summer Dates Still Available for Private Events 15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary AB | 403.476.1310 |




IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN CALGARY Located at the base of the Western Canadian Place Tower, KORQ is a unique wine lounge with modern flair. Its dramatic wall of lushly lit wine bottles, soaring 22 foot ceilings and comfortable decor transport you far from the hubbub of downtown.

32 OF YOU R FAVOU RI T E WI NES ROTAT I NG ON TAP S ! Bring your family and friends to our new Ramsay location for all day breakfast, mouthwatering lunch, or our new dinner features.

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word of mouth Notable culinary happenings around town

city palate culinary travel grant

best of all...

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Calling all back-of-the-house restaurant cooks! You are a professional cook... have you ever wondered what pizza tastes like in Rome or Naples? Or what indigenous ingredients are used in Sydney’s best restaurants? Or what a blowfish tastes like in Tokyo? Or if bird’s nest soup is really made from a bird’s nest? Or what it would be like to do a stage in a prominent restaurant in another country? City Palate can help you further your culinary education with a scholarship to help pay for your travel and expenses. For all the details on how to pitch us on where you’d like to go and what you’d like to learn... check out City Palate’s ad for this year’s Culinary Travel Grant on page 7, then go to to see how to apply.

You don't have to wash it! We love quinoa, and we really love the TruRoots organic quinoa we found at Lina’s Italian Market because it’s pre-washed. How convenient is that! Here’s something we do with it – caramelize red onion, add minced ginger, then cook the quinoa in the same pot. Yum.

If you’re recovering from too much holiday imbibing and want to get the new year off to a good start, you’ll want a copy of Warren Bobrow’s Apothecary Cocktails, Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today (Fair Winds Press, $23.99, hard cover, spiral bound). Learn how to make these turn-of-the-century and modern restorative drinks so you can enjoy a cocktail with benefits. Like Mexican Sleep Cure, Cold Cure #1001, and Cocktail Whisperer’s Painkilling System #200. Oh, here’s one we all need – The Deep Healer, with tomato purée, onion purée, hot chile paste, spinach, kale, or other dark leafy green and 5 oz. vodka! Bring it on!

upcoming 20 for 20 events Colossal Culinary Crossword in this issue, centre spread; January 27, Bill to Tail: a specialty dinner at Avec with Noble Farms featuring duck 20 ways (sold out); February 8, Crowbar 2014 – a pop-up party, see the ad on page 30; March 13, SAIT Kitchen Party, see the ad on page 32. Visit for details and ticket links.

foodshed wins a prize Dee Hobsbawn-Smith, a former Calgary chef, cooking educator and food advocate, has become the first Saskatchewan writer to win a prize at the High Plains Book Awards. Hobsbawn-Smith’s book Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet, won the culinary award at the High Plains Book Festival, which celebrates writing in various disciplines and genres from across the American northern plains states and Canada’s three prairie provinces. The festival took place in Billings, Montana, in October.

and the winners are... Ten of Calgary’s top chefs competed in the Gold Medal Plates culinary competition to raise money for Canada’s Olympians. It was a tough competition with all the chefs at the top of their game. But, for the second time, Duncan Ly, Yellow Door Bistro and Hotel Arts, took the gold medal. He’ll compete in Kelowna on February 7 at the Canadian Culinary Championship. The silver went to Roy Oh, Anju restaurant, and the bronze to Darren MacLean, downtownfood. As always, the food these dudes present to the judges is adventurous and edgy. And tasty too. Duncan Ly seduced with a prawn and pig’s ear terrine given a “wow!” kick with a hot mustard and garlic aioli and a side of crisp julienned apple and mint salad with a sweet-sour dressing. His choice of Peller Estates Ice Cuvée rosé sparkler perfectly enhanced the food’s flavours. Roy Oh presented three perfect treatments of tofu – tofu whipped with foie gras, rich and flavourful, tofu whipped with lobster bisque in a shot glass, and a cube of fried panko-crusted tofu paired with maple, miso fried pork belly. Darren MacLean’s “textures of mushrooms” featured wild mushrooms treated in different ways to create lots of textures and flavours punctuated by a golden croquette of quail egg yolk and a sunny-side-up quail egg. Left to right: Roy Oh, Duncan Ly, Darren MacLean.

drink hot chocolate – it’s good for you Don’t miss YYC Hot Chocolate Fest 2014. The festival runs throughout February in support of Meals on Wheels. It boasts creative and specialty hot chocolate drinks that Calgary vendors concoct in hopes of winning the title of “Best Hot Chocolate.” Vendors include Cibo, Vie Café, The Main Dish, Manuel Latruwe Belgian Patisserie, Fratello Coffee Co./Analog Cafés, Crepes and Cravings and Vie Café/ Market 17. You’ll find everything you need to know about who’s selling hot chocolate and how to rate your favourites at

geodesic dome greenhouse If you enjoy gardening, have a greenhouse or are thinking about starting a greenhouse, this presentation will introduce you to a way of growing food for your family, even your community, in an off-the-grid, sustainable way. Geodesic dome greenhouses use solar thermal energy and thermal mass principles to create a year-round growing climate and can be easily constructed in rural and urban environments. The Winter Sun - Growing Food All Year with Geodesic Dome Greenhouses, January 15, Fish Creek Environmental Learning Centre, Shannon Terrace, Fish Creek Provincial Park. For details and to register, contact Chris Lalonde, Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society, chris@ or visit

mercato goodies

Toro Bravo is a restaurant that’s “at the heart of Portland’s redhot food scene,” according to those in the know, and Toro Bravo – stories, recipes, no bull – by owner John Gorham and Liz Crain, is the food from the restaurant (McSweeney’s, $41.95, hard cover). It’s a fun book with great stories about Gorham and how he came to cook and own a restaurant and even better stories about the life of the restaurant. There are recipes, too, from the simplest, like Chard with Eggs and Bacon Manchego Burger, to the time-consuming making of charcuterie.

We dropped into Mercato to see what was up, because renovations were going on and there’s a whole new look. Looks super! Couldn’t resist some of Mama Cathy’s goodies: a beautiful big jar of pickled cherry peppers – good to add to your antipasto plate, or pop on top of a bowlful of pasta – and deeply flavoured basil pesto and Sicilian tomato pesto. Naturally we needed some of Uncle Luigi’s extravirgin olive oil. Go check it out, and grab some goodies for yourself.

It had to happen – born of The Walking Dead is a parody in a cookbook, The Snacking Dead by D.B. Walker (Clarkson/ Potter, $22.95, hard cover). D.B. Walker also wrote 50 Shades of Chicken as FL Fowler, so you know what you’re in for. Fun stories for lots of good recipes categorized as Appetizers for an Apocalypse, Eating on the Run, Messy Bites for the Newly Dead and Last Call. If you’re a fan, you’ll want this one.



Take a trip to Italy... right here in Calgary!


Visit for details Expand your knowledge, skills and networks in editorial, design, digital media, circulation, sales and the business of publishing



er The Scarpone Burg

meat use-made sausage 1lb mild or spicy ho e no chees 1/2 c. grated pecori in bread crumbs pla or n 1/2 c. Italia lian parsley 2-3 T. chopped Ita 1 egg at. Form n’t overwork the me Combine well, but do , crispy ne do t jus pan fry until into patties. Grill or a on ve Ser . l juicy inside on the edges but stil ta en pol y on top of cream crusty Italian roll or lized onions. with lots of carame




AMPA acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) of the Department of Canadian Heritage, as well as the Government of Alberta through the Alberta Media Fund (AMF).



Italian staples, deli and grocery • The finest Italy and Europe have to offer at the best prices in town • Daily Italian lunch specials in our ultra cool café • Fresh pastry and gelato • Espresso, Lattes & Cappuccinos using Italy’s first choice, Lavazza Top Class coffee


eat this

Ellen Kelly

What to eat in January and February

Here, in Alberta, we still have a long way to go before we see the back of winter. Root vegetables and brassicas can do double duty in the cold months, going from salads, soups, and vegetable side dishes to, in the case of sweet potatoes, even desserts, with ease. Some people are put off by the earthiness of beets. The addition of a little acid in the form of lemon juice or vinegar helps tame their dense flavours. Wrap 2 medium red beets and 2 medium yellow beets in separate foil packages; roast in a 400°F oven for 45-60 minutes, or until easily pierced. Cool, peel and slice. While the beets are cooking, put 1/3 c. walnuts into a heavy pan over medium heat. As soon as the nuts begin to toast, stir in 3 T. maple syrup. Continue to cook until evenly coated, then remove from the heat and cool. In a small bowl, whisk together zest and juice of a small lemon, 1 t. vanilla extract, 1/4 c. white balsamic vinegar, 1/2 t. Dijon mustard, 1/4 c. walnut oil and 1/4 c. olive oil for the vinaigrette. Toss the beets while still a little warm (in separate bowls if you don’t want the red beets to stain the yellow beets) in half of the dressing. Toss frisée lettuce (a cross between chicory and leaf lettuce) with the rest of the dressing. To serve on individual plates, arrange the beets on the greens, top with crumbled blue cheese – I like Azzuro di Bufala – and the maple walnuts.

BUY: Look for firm, unblemished heads; avoid any that are yellowed, soft or have brown spots. TIPS: Boiling diminishes the benefits from cauliflower’s high vitamin C content and high fibre; another reason (the first being better flavour) to roast. Simply toss florets in a little olive oil, salt and pepper, spread on a baking sheet and roast until tender and lightly caramelized. DID YOU KNOW? It’s not unusual to see bright orange, green and purple heads of cauliflower in markets today. The purple variety takes more than twice as long to mature than the white, but where other purple vegetables tend to lose their colour when cooked, the colour of the cauliflower remains quite vibrant.

Illustrations by Pierre Lamielle

BUY: Choose firm unblemished beets of uniform size. If the greens are attached and are fresh and lush, you have two vegetables in one. Use them as you would spinach or Swiss chard. TIPS: Oven roasting beets, rather than boiling, retains flavour and colour. Wrap them, two at a time with a little water, in foil and pop them in a 400°F oven until easily pierced with a skewer. Or coat them lightly with olive oil and roast. DID YOU KNOW? The Chioggia beet is candycane striped when sliced and has a mild flavour, as does the Golden variety. Both are fun to combine with red beets, but don’t cook or toss together in dressing or they will all turn red. Cylindra, a red beet, is just that, cylindrical, and gives you nice uniform slices, ideal for pickles.

The brassica family really comes into its own during the winter months when other more fragile vegetables await spring and summer. To make a delicious frittata, trim a whole head of cauliflower into same-size florets. Toss in olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with plenty of Maldon salt and roast for 20-25 minutes at 375°F., until al dente and starting to brown. Set aside. While the cauliflower is roasting, sauté a whole chopped yellow onion with half a red pepper, also chopped, in olive oil until softened and starting to colour. Fennel is a nice addition. Season the vegetables with a little salt and pepper while cooking. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat 10 to 12 eggs with 2 to 2 1/2 c. whole milk, salt, pepper, 1/2 c. bread crumbs (panko, if you’ve got it), chopped fresh thyme (or herb of choice), lots of chopped fresh parsley, a big dash each of Worcestershire and Tabasco, grated manchego and parmesan cheeses (2 cups at a 3 to 1 ratio, keeping some back to top the frittata) and the now cooled onion and pepper. A little smoked paprika is a nice variation. Generously butter a 9 X 11 pyrex pan and toss in a handful of bread crumbs; shake to cover the butter and put any excess into the egg mixture, just to be thrifty. Arrange the cauliflower in the pan and gently pour over the egg mixture. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 40-50 minutes in a preheated 350°F. oven, until beautifully puffy and browned. Let the frittata set for 10 minutes and cut into squares to serve, hot or at room temperature. Serves 6 to 8 generously.

A simple baked sweet potato slit open and drizzled with maple syrup and butter is practically a dessert in itself, but a sweet potato pie… glorious. Wash 3 medium sweet potatoes well and roast them in a 400°F oven until easily pierced with a skewer, 45 minutes or so. When cold, peel and grate; you should have 2 to 2 1/2 cups. Cream 1 c. light brown sugar with 3 T. soft butter until light. Beat in 3 egg yolks, mixing well. Stir in the grated potatoes and add 1/2 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. ground ginger, 1/8 t. grated nutmeg, 1/4 t. salt, 2 T. bourbon and the zest and juice of 1 orange; combine well. Add 1 c. light cream and continue to mix. Line a deep pie pan with your favourite pastry crust and pour in the filling. Bake for 35-45 minutes in a preheated 375°F oven, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Meanwhile, beat 3 egg whites with a pinch of salt until frothy. Beat until soft peaks form, and then add 2 T. sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. When the pie is baked, top it with the meringue, making sure it touches the crust all around. Put back in the oven for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned.

BUY: Sweet potatoes are more easily damaged than regular potatoes. Avoid any that are soft, blemished or bruised. Look for medium-size tubers and gently squeeze each one, choosing ones that are hard and heavy for their size. TIPS: Store in a cool spot, not the refrigerator, for no more than a few days and cook soon after purchasing. Sweet potatoes oxidize quickly, so put cut pieces in acidulated water (squeeze of lemon juice) if not using right away. DID YOU KNOW? Sweet potatoes are neither potatoes nor true yams. They are part of the morning glory family and native to the American tropics.



drink this

Tom Firth

Mighty malbec

MEET THE COUP COOKS! Jan.17, Feb. 8 (hands-off) An inside look at our favourite vegetarian restaurant. Watch The Coup chefs demonstrate menu favourites. This is an Interactive 4-course meal with wine samplings.


Explore the world of chocolate in this delicious, informative class. Master the art of making mousse, truffles, ganache, and sauces. Taste samples from around the world. Includes a recipe booklet, a light meal and a cake to take home!

L’AMOUR February 14 (hands-off) Join us for a romantic interactive dinner as we present some of our favourite picks of French gastronomy that inspire LOVE! This is a 4-course dinner prepared before you with wine pairings. A perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day.

Register today for one of our many classes!

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When I was invited to be one of the international judges for the 2013 Argentina Wine Awards in Mendoza, Argentina, I knew that during the two weeks I was there, I would be eating a lot of meat, and drinking a lot of malbec. By the end of my trip, I had tried approximately 400 of Argentina’s finest malbecs, another 200 or so wines made from other grapes, some blends, and had eaten approximately my body weight in meat. Asado is a fancy word for a fancy barbecue and it can also be translated as “meat buffet,” since such an event features a heck of a lot of meat. An Argentinean asado is, in essence, an all-day event for friends and family and is much more than just a barbecue. To a red-blooded Albertan used to great red meat, it’s a beautiful thing. Just as French, Italian, German and Spanish food goes hand in hand with French, Italian, German and Spanish wines, the food of Argentina is a perfect match for its wines. Argentina has several distinct styles of cuisine and several wine regions, but the one most familiar to Calgarians is Mendoza, with its meatcentric cuisine and its malbec grape. Malbec is by far the top grape in Argentina. Although its history began primarily in France, its present and future remain in Argentina. Malbec, for most of its winemaking past, was a minor component in the Bordeaux blend. Usually responsible for adding perfume and colour, it was late-ripening and prone to all sorts of vineyard maladies – not a good recipe for becoming a major grape in the region. In 1956, Bordeaux was hit with a nasty frost that devastated vineyards. Malbec was especially affected, and when it came time to replant, most wineries chose not to give malbec another chance. There are still French wines that include malbec as a small part of a blend, while a few focus on malbec only, notably the wines of Cahors. Being a late-ripening variety, the wines can be astringent in cooler vintages, but in rare vintages where the grapes can fully ripen, the wines are fantastic. Argentina almost didn’t realize what a great grape it had in malbec. It was planted as far back as the 1850s and proved ideal as a “workhorse” wine, producing plenty of everyday bottles for the family table (in 1970, the average wine consumption in Argentina was around 92 L. per capita). In the 1980s, with falling domestic consumption, the powers that be in Argentina orchestrated a “vine-pull” that reduced the vineyard area devoted to malbec to around 10,000 acres. Most of the old-vine vineyards were pulled at this time, which was a shame since older vineyards, while generating fewer grapes on the whole, produce wines that are capable of more complexity and character. It was around this time that wine makers in Argentina started looking to the export market and the resurgence of malbec finally began. The key to fine Argentine malbec is the same as it is for top wines the world over: Location. Location. Location. What makes Argentina the place for top malbec is its high altitude vineyards. Bordered by the Andes to the west, the best vineyard sites in Argentina are well within view of the mountains, wherever you turn. The soils tend to be alluvial, and the dry air doesn’t hurt, either. Most of Argentina’s top vineyards are well over 1000 m. above sea level; in certain parts of Argentina, the vineyards may exceed 1400 m., about the same elevation as Banff. The sunlight striking the vineyards is far more intense than it would be closer to sea level. Although higher altitudes tend to be cooler, especially during the winters, during the growing season (harvest is typically in March) the weather is more than warm and the sun is intense enough to fully ripen the grapes, producing the intense colour, aromatics, tannins, and flavour of premium malbec.

About 80 percent of the wine made in Argentina comes from the province of Mendoza, with malbec the dominant variety planted. Unusually, most of the vineyards in Mendoza are flood-irrigated rather than drip-irrigated, as they are now in most parts of the vinous world. Flood irrigation reduces certain pressures on the vines and allows their roots to penetrate further into the soil for water. These days, it isn’t enough to just put “Mendoza” on the label, as better site selection and sub-appellations reveal that there are many sites suited to premium malbec. So, where is the best malbec coming from these days? Mendoza is a big region, and like any wine appellation, there are select sites within Mendoza which are making exceptional wine. Luján de Cuyo is fast emerging as a prime location for malbec with its poor soils and older vines. As well, further south of the city of Mendoza is the Uco Valley, where some of the best malbec is being produced. Tupangto, Vista Flores, Altamira, and La Consulta are some of the newer appellations in the Uco Valley available to our market that you should look for at your local wine merchant. Many of these malbecs are surprisingly spicy, even “elegant,” and many are moving to restrained oak treatments, allowing the finest characters of the wine, rather than the barrel, to show through. Matching malbec to food is pretty much a piece of cake. It’s perfect with most beef dishes, from thick, juicy burgers, to steaks and roasts. It also works with game, sausages, hard cheeses or lamb. Vegetarians, take heart – it also works well with full-flavoured mushroom dishes. When it comes to aging, like most wines, malbec is normally released ready to drink, though premium examples (or some single vineyard malbecs) can handle a number of years in the cellar – around eight to 10. If you don’t want to wait that long, aerating can help open up some of those darker flavours.

Sobeys Liquor Presents

Delight in fine wine from the world’s most celebrated regions

CALGARY Feb. 21 - 22, 2014 Stampede Park BMO Centre

FRIDAY Evening Session 7 - 10 pm SATURDAY Afternoon Session 2 - 5 pm SATURDAY Evening Session 7 - 10 pm

Purchase YOUR 2014 TICKETS online - on sale now!


For tickets and more information, visit Please enjoy your beverages responsibly. Minors are not permitted.

Embrace smallness.

(Pictured L to R above) Catena 2011 Malbec, Mendoza Argentina A consistently high quality and always well-priced malbec. The Catena family has a worldwide reputation for its wines. Plump, juicy, and accessible, with pleasing spice lending a bit of extra complexity. $20 Luigi Bosca 2010 Single Vineyard Malbec, DOC, Luján de Cuyo, Argentina Made from 70-year-old vines, and the first Denominación de Origen Controlada to be created in Argentina. Lots of power, with spice, herb, and blackberry fruit, but surprisingly elegant. A steal for the price. $25 O. Fournier 2012 Urban Uco Malbec, Uco Valley, Argentina Not only do they make good wine, but the folks at O. Fournier have one of the coolest “Bond Villain-esque” wineries out there. The Urban series is designed for fruit-driven palates but still delivers great varietal character. $18

At J.Webb Wine Merchant we support small family estates that produce organic and sustainable wines.

Altos Las Hormigas 2011 Malbec Reserve, Uco Valley, Argentina A solid wine from start to finish, with lush spice presence, some big fruit and a creamy, almost velvety texture. Two years of oak soften the tannins considerably. $35 Zuccardi Q 2011 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina Sourced from La Consulta, Vista Flores, and Mendoza fruits, the “Q” gets about 12 months of oak, allowing the bright fruits, floral character, and spice to shine through. Perfect for roasts, prime rib or a roaring fireplace. $23 Cuvelier Los Andes 2009 Grand Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina Sourced from vineyards in Tunuyan and the Uco Valley, the Cuvelier isn’t cheap, but it’s a prime candidate for further aging. This seriously floral and structured malbec has layers and layers of complexity. Age up to 10 years or drink now and stain your teeth for the night. $73

Tom Firth is Cowtown Wine, and @cowtownwine. Glenmore Landing: 90th Ave. and 14th St. SW


Casel Marché: 24th St. and 17th Ave. SW




VA L E n t i n E ’ s

Love is a story without ending.

get this where the wild things are If the words morel, chanterelle and porcini have you salivating, then the wild spirit of your palate will be impressed with the abilities that Untamed Feast has for finding, drying and distributing mushrooms from the boreal forests of British Columbia. Eric and Michelle Whitehead add value to their foraged fungi finds with attractively packaged soup and rice blends that are easy to complete with ingredients from your home’s larder. We tried the Morel Coconut Rice with a piece of grilled halibut, used the Forest Blend to make creamy wild mushroom soup and found the Porcini Risotto the perfect pairing with an Alberta prime rib roast. Whitehead and the ten foragers he employs spend up to four months a year searching truly wild areas for these Canadian culinary gems. All you need to do is prepare yourself for wild applause at the dinner table. Morel Coconut Rice, Porcini Risotto, $10.99, Soffritto

Art Exhibition FEAturing Four LocAL Artists | Five course dinner experience in the Opal ~ $125 pp | Five course dinner experience in the Opal with wine pairing ~ $195 pp | Stay the night ~ guest suites starting at $299 Offered February 13 ~ 16, 2014 Reservations 403-931-0100 I Priddis, AB


grocery shopping 101 Chef Sam Mogannam and Dabney Gough have written a mini-encyclopedia about how to grocery shop and create a food-loving community at the same time. Mogannam took over his parent’s grocery store, Bi-Rite Market, in the rundown Mission district of San Francisco in 1998. He stopped selling smokes and hard liquor and installed a butcher, fresh local produce, and charcuterie and cheese counters. He thought long and hard about the quality and source of everything in his store and reinvented the whole deal by making it a fun and interactive personal experience loaded with the best food he could find. Bi-Rite Market’s Eat Good Food – A Grocer’s Guide to Shopping, Cooking and Creating Community through Food shows what’s possible when a grocer plays a role in increasing how we value our food. Mogannam and Gough have started an encouraging trend – the return of the neighbourhood grocer – across North America. Bi-Rite Market’s Eat Good Food: A Grocer’s Guide to Shopping, Cooking and Creating Community through Food, $37,50, Knifewear (Hint: Knifewear has a few book shelves loaded with the interesting picks of owner Kevin Kent and manager Mike Wrinch.)

all fired up


GOROANDGUN.CA | +15, 225 7TH AVE SW 14


We like it when people play with fire and our food. Scarpone’s Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes tantalize the taste buds on their own, but mix a can with 2 T. harissa paste and a 5.5-oz. can of tomato paste and suddenly you’ve kindled the flame of inspiration. Use the mix as a sauce for perogies, pile it on lamb-stuffed pitas or smear it on the base of your next pizza. There’s nothing like a great ingredient to fire up a cook’s imagination. Bonus: this one also qualifies as great cheap eats. Scarpone’s Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, $1.49/398 ml, The Italian Store – Grocery Store, Cappuccino and Panini Bar

Karen Anderson

Must-have kitchen stuff

delicate and raw… …is how you might feel after New Year’s Eve, but if you – like millions the world over – want to start 2014 by vowing to clean up your health act, then a juicing detox could set you in the right direction. Marie Ghesquire of Ladybug Bakery and Café is famous for her commitment to high quality, local and organic ingredients and she’s taken that to a new level by becoming certified as a raw food chef and superfoods nutrition expert. Her Delicate & Raw line of macaroons, biscotti, energy bars and granola are delicious raw foods’ nutritional powerhouses. Her juicing detox program can be done for one, three or five days. Ordering is done online. The juice names - Hail to the Kale, The Protector, The Purifier, The Stimulator and Heartening – will lend you the mental fortitude to do so. May the juice be with you as you reset from delicate and raw to strong and stoked. Delicate and Raw Reset: One-Day Cleanse, $93,

chocolate cuddles Spend Valentine’s Day cuddling up with your personal Venus and a mug of one of several silky smooth hot chocolate flavours from Silly Cow Farms of Vermont. If Cupid hasn’t delivered any interest into your love account lately, that’s okay; you can cuddle up to the cliché of chocolate being equally satisfactory, at least until its human equivalent shows up. Then, your Silly Cow Farms hot chocolate habit might have to moo-ve over.

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don’t stand on tradition… eat it Robbie Burns Day is layered with traditions as thick as a Scottish brogue. Eating haggis is one of them. Ex-pat Scots take the high road to MacEwans Meats and Meat Pies for their haggis hankering, but you can take the low road any time for the custom cuts of meat, British cheese selection, Devonshire cream and generous steak and kidney pies. New owner Gordon Robertson is a seriously skilled butcher, having kept a cutting-edge pace in the top shops of London’s High Street. We recently fried up some of Robertson’s Scottish square sausage – clove-scented black sausage – thickly sliced English bacon and chubby little breakfast bangers with a wee side of beans, grilled tomatoes, fried eggs and bread for a proper kilt-loosening British breakfast. We’re sure it’s all this hearty and handcrafted fare that lets the Brits keep calm and carry on. Haggis and a treasure trove of traditional British and modern Alberta fare, market-priced, MacEwans Meats and Meat Pies


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one ingredient

Julie Van Rosendaal


Dates are the oldest cultivated fruit in the world, yet sticky, brown, sugary dates are sadly under-used in North America. Perhaps too many of us were overfed date squares by our grandmothers. Once reserved for royalty, plump, meaty Medjool dates are now available in most grocery stores, easily accessible to all of us commoners. I think dates are often looked upon as extreme raisins, when their creamy texture and more complex, honeyed flavour should elevate them to their own category among dried fruit. There are dozens of cultivars, but by far, the most popular in our grocery stores is the Medjool – a dry-skinned, wrinkly date that’s easy to pit and work with in the kitchen, and isn’t sticky and cloyingly sweet like most baking-section dates. Look for the Medjool in the produce section alongside the bananas. It’s perhaps the “bricks” of dry, pitted dates in the baking section that turn off so many home cooks. Regardless of the variety, dates that still have their pits tend to be plumper and juicier than those that are pitted before they’re packaged. The dates we’re most familiar with are dried. If you happen to find fresh ones, which you may see at farmers’ markets in summer and fall, they look like pale green, matte olives clustered in twos and threes on a stalk. They’ll turn yellow as they ripen and have an astringent flavour and the texture of a crunchy apple. As they ripen further, fresh dates turn amber, then dark brown, evolving into the chewy sweets we recognize as dates, which don’t resemble their fresh selves any more than raisins resemble grapes.

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Both fresh and dried dates are staples in Middle Eastern cuisine; from Iraq to North Africa, they’re used in savoury dishes as often as sweet, and they’re eaten straight-up as a snack. Chopped dried dates add bursts of sweetness to couscous, pilafs and grainy salads, and even tossed green salads, in place of the usual dried cranberries. If yours have dried out, add them to freshly cooked quinoa, barley or rice and they’ll plump, absorbing moisture as the grains cool. Dates get along famously with cheese; scatter a few on a cheese board, or chop and stir them into softened cream cheese and crumbled bleu, or softened chèvre and grated aged cheddar or gouda, then shape the mixture into a ball or log. Slice plump dates and place the shards atop a cracker or crostini with a chunk of foie gras. The very best thing to do with Medjool dates is to stuff them with cheese and wrap them in bacon. Pull out their pits, cut small sticks of parmesan or extra-old white cheddar and stick them into the dates. Wrap strips of prosciutto or half a strip of bacon around each date, place them seam-side down on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake at 400°F for 15 minutes, or until the bacon has cooked and shrinkwrapped the date and the cheese is oozing out the end. You’ll be tempted to not share these... but do try.





recipe photos by Julie Van Rosendaal



ORGANIC PRODUCE LOC Sticky Toffee Teacakes with Treacle Frosting Here’s something a little different – a sticky toffee cake in cupcake form. From Alice Eats: A Wonderland Cookbook, by Pierre A. Lamielle and Julie Van Rosendaal. 1 c. chopped dates 1 c. boiling water 1/4 c. butter, at room temperature 1/4 c. canola oil 1 c. packed brown sugar 2 large eggs 2 T. molasses, Rogers Golden Syrup or treacle 1 t. vanilla 2 c. all-purpose flour 2 t. baking powder 1/2 t. cinnamon 1/4 t. salt

Frosting: 1 8-oz. (250 g) pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature 1/4 c. butter, at room temperature 3 c. icing sugar 1-2 T. treacle or molasses 1 T. milk or water 1/2 t. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 12 muffin tins (or 24 mini muffin tins) with paper liners. Put the dates into a heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water over top; let stand for 15 minutes, until soft. Mash well with a fork or



pour into a food processor and pulse until well blended but still a bit chunky.


Meanwhile, beat the butter, oil and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer for a few minutes, until well blended and light. Add the eggs, molasses and vanilla and beat well. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add about a third to the butter mixture, stirring or beating on low speed just until incorporated. Add half the puréed fruit in the same manner, then another third of the flour, the rest of the fruit and the rest of the flour, mixing just until blended.

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Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake for 25-30 minutes for regular-sized cupcakes, or 20-25 minutes for mini cupcakes, until golden and the tops are domed and springy to the touch. Tip them slightly in their tins to allow steam to escape and help them cool completely. To make the frosting, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter for a few minutes, until smooth and fluffy; gradually beat in the icing sugar, treacle or molasses, milk and vanilla until you have a soft, spreadable consistency, adding a little extra sugar or liquid if you need it. Frost the cupcakes once they have cooled completely. Makes 1 dozen cupcakes or 2 dozen mini cupcakes.


Easy Date-Nut Energy Bars If you’re a fan of Lara bars, you’ll love these. A simple mixture of dates and nuts is pulsed in the food processor until you have a mixture you can press into a pan, then cut into bars. Add spices, dried fruit, shredded coconut, chocolate chips or whatever other additions appeal to you. 1-1/2 c. pitted Medjool dates (about 15 dates) 1-1/2 c. whole almonds, pecans, cashews or a combination, toasted pinch salt

Optional add-ins: • 1/3 c. shredded coconut with a bit of grated lime zest and the juice of half a lime • 2 T. cocoa, 1 T. honey and 1/3 c. chocolate chips • 1/2 c. dried cherries or blueberries and a drop of vanilla

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the dates, nuts and salt until well blended and coarsely ground – you should be able to squeeze the mixture together into a clump. If you like, pulse or stir in any add-ins. Press the mixture into a parchment-lined 8×8-inch baking pan and let it sit at room temperature or refrigerate until it’s easy to cut into bars. (Alternatively, roll the mixture into small bite-sized balls.) Leave the bars in the pan or wrap them or the balls individually to store them. Makes about 12 bars. continued on page 18

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one ingredient Dates continued from page 17

Specialty Foods Olive Oils Balsamics Catering

Barley & Wheat Berry Salad with Chickpeas, Feta and Dates This grainy salad could be made with barley and quinoa instead – you’ll find chewy wheat berries at gourmet or health food stores. 1/2 c. wheat berries 1/2 c. pearl or pot barley 1/2 c. chopped dates 1 19-oz. (540 mL) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

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1/2 c. crumbled feta 2 celery stalks, chopped a big handful of Italian parsley, chopped or torn 1/4 red onion, finely chopped 1/2 c. chopped walnuts, toasted 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive or canola oil 1/4 c. red wine vinegar or lemon juice (or to taste) salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, cover the wheat berries with a few inches of water and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for an hour. (Alternatively, soak the wheat berries in water overnight.) Pour off most of the water from the wheat berries, add the barley to the pot and cover it with water by a few inches; bring it to a boil and cook for 40 minutes, until both the barley and the wheat berries are tender. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking; drain well and transfer to a bowl. Stir in the dates and let the mixture cool completely. Add the chickpeas, feta, celery, parsley, onion and walnuts; drizzle the salad with oil and vinegar and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Toss it to combine the flavours. Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed. Serves 6 to 8.

Spiced Whole Wheat Date Spirals Hot &Cold Lunches

Cappuccino Dessert Bar

These sweet, chewy cookies taste like date squares, only in cookie form. Filling: 1 c. finely chopped dates 1/4 c. sugar 1/2 c. orange juice or water

Dough: 1/4 c. butter, at room temperature 2/3 c. packed brown sugar 1 large egg 2 t. vanilla 3/4 c. whole wheat flour 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 1/4 t. baking soda 1 t. cinnamon 1/4 t. salt

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pinch allspice

In a medium saucepan, combine the dates, sugar and orange juice. Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until thick and jam-like. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for a minute, until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. In a small bowl, stir together the

flours, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and allspice. Add to the sugar mixture and stir by hand just until you have a soft dough. Roll the dough between two sheets of waxed or parchment paper into a 12-inch square. Place on a cookie sheet in the fridge for about 30 minutes or in the freezer for 15 minutes, until a bit firm. Remove the dough from the fridge and peel off the top layer of waxed paper. Spread the dough evenly with the date filling, going right to the edges. Starting from a long edge, gently roll the dough into a log, peeling back the paper as you go. Wrap the log in waxed paper or plastic wrap and freeze it for 3 hours or up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the log into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place an inch apart on a parchment-lined sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until pale golden. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Berry, Pecan & Mascarpone Tart This simple no-bake tart is as easy as it gets and is both grain-and sugar-free Top it with whatever fruit is seasonal or available – berries are mostly available all year. Adapted from Crust: 10 Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped 1 c. pecan halves or pieces, toasted 1 c. almond meal (ground almonds) 2 t. butter or coconut oil pinch cinnamon pinch salt



EASE[Y] nights


1 c. mascarpone or cream cheese

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3 - 4 T. cream 2 t. honey or maple syrup 1/4 t. vanilla


fresh blueberries or raspberries, or both, or other fruit


In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the dates, pecans, almonds, butter, cinnamon and salt until they’re well blended and sticky. Alternatively, chop the dates and pecans finely, then mix them with the ground almonds, butter, cinnamon and salt until you have a mixture that will hold together when squeezed between your fingers. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan.


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In a medium bowl, beat the mascarpone, cream, honey and vanilla until creamy and smooth; spread the filling over the base. Top the tart with fruit and chill for half an hour or so if you have time – otherwise it can be served immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014

Wearing O’ the Green

Keep the St. Paddy’s Day party going with renowned Celtic band Seanachie. Prior to reelin’, tuck into an Irish themed four-course plated dinner.

Date Squares (Matrimonial Slice) You can’t write about dates without this one. 1-1/2 c. chopped pitted dates


1 t. vanilla

All That Jazz

1 1/2 c. flour

Enjoy a four-course plated dinner featuring the best of the season’s regional fare followed by a performance by jazz legend Bob Erlendson and friends.

1 c. packed brown sugar 1 c. old-fashioned oats 1/2 t. cinnamon 1/2 t. baking soda 1/2 t. salt 1/2 c. butter, chilled and cut into bits

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8x8-inch metal baking pan. Put the dates in a medium saucepan, add a cup of water and bring to a simmer. Cook until the dates are very soft and thick, stirring them occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool the mixture to room temperature and stir in the vanilla. Whisk together the flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and, using your fingertips, rub it in until moist clumps form. Press half of the oat mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the date mixture over top. Sprinkle the dates with the remaining oat mixture; press it down gently so it adheres. Bake the squares for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden around the edges and set in the middle. Cool in the pan on a wire rack, then cut into squares. Makes 16 squares.

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feeding people

Gail Norton

Rack roasting

One of my favourite winter dishes is a classic French recipe Gigot D’Agneau à la Boulangère that very loosely translates as “baker’s wife’s lamb.” The story goes that when the village baker finished his baking duties for the day and had removed the bread from the oven, his wife would come in and commandeer the oven to take advantage of the residual heat to cook her leg of lamb on a pan of scalloped potatoes. Since lots of other village people didn’t have ovens, they also brought food to be cooked in the baker’s oven. It’s an evocative story and a delicious dish. But one of the problems I encountered when I was making this dish was that the potatoes usually needed more time to cook than the lamb, and the lamb resting on the potatoes didn’t allow the potatoes to get the crispy goodness on top that we all like about scalloped potatoes. So I embraced a technique I found in Jamie Oliver’s cookbook, Jamie’s Dinners. In his recipe, the meat is placed directly on the rack of the oven and the baking dish filled with vegetables is placed underneath the rack holding the meat – the meat is sitting above the vegetables and not on them. Voila! Problem solved. The vegetables get the good flavours of the meat drippings and are crispier than they’d be with the meat sitting directly on them, while the meat gets fully roasted and caramelized all over.



Baker’s Wife’s Leg of Lamb 2 heads of garlic several sprigs fresh rosemary, needles removed 1 5-lb. leg of lamb, boned 1 bunch fresh parsley 4 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced salt and pepper olive oil 2 c. whipping cream

Peel and sliver about 5 garlic cloves. Using the end of a paring knife, make small cuts all over the lamb and tuck in the garlic and the rosemary needles. Marinate several hours or overnight in the fridge. Finely chop the remaining garlic cloves with the parsley. Place half of the potato slices in a large buttered baking dish. Top with salt and pepper and the parsley mixture, and drizzle with olive oil. Add the remaining potatoes, pour the cream over the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the lamb from the fridge and bring it to room temperature. Put the potato mixture on the rack underneath where the lamb will be placed. Place the meat directly on the oven rack above. Cook for about 1 hour, or until the lamb has reached 160°F for medium (145-150°F for medium-rare). Remove the meat from the oven and set it aside, keeping it warm. Continue cooking the potatoes until they are crispy on top and a knife can be easily inserted into them, about 20 to 30 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

Lamb with Yogurt and Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Chicken and Potato Wedges

This recipe is adapted from Jamie’s Dinners.

2 t. coriander seeds, crushed

The chicken is cut to lay flat. This allows it to cook more quickly and evenly. I’ve also had wonderful results from using a half bottle of Yatu Gourmet Magic, an Ethiopian curry blend, for a marinade.

3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

5 lb. whole chicken

1 5-lb. leg of lamb, boned, butterflied and opened up like a book

1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped 1 bunch fresh mint, chopped sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/2 lemon, juiced 2 c. plain yogurt 12 baby turnips, scrubbed bunch of baby carrots, scrubbed 1 butternut squash, unpeeled, cut into 8 wedges

Marinade: 4 lemons, juiced 1/4 c. olive oil 1 bunch parsley, minced 1 T. chopped rosemary 1/4 c. sesame paste

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1 garlic clove, minced

2 onions, peeled and quartered

4 potatoes, cut into wedges

1 whole garlic bulb, broken into cloves

2 sweet potatoes, cut into wedges

2 t. ground cumin

salt and pepper

salt and pepper

2 t. ground cumin

extra-virgin olive oil

olive oil

Score the lamb on both sides. Using either a mortar and pestle or a food processor, grind the coriander seeds with the garlic, fresh coriander, and mint until you have a paste. Season the paste with salt and pepper, then add the lemon juice and yogurt. Place half of this flavoured yogurt in a large plastic bag and add the lamb. Put the other half of the flavoured yogurt in the fridge. Tie up the bag to seal it and turn it around to allow the yogurt to coat the lamb all over. Leave it to marinate for at least an hour, or up to 24 hours in the fridge.

Place the chicken on a cutting board breast side down. Take a knife and cut through the back of the chicken, then lay it as flat as possible on the board and use the palms of your hand to crack the breast bone so the chicken lies flat.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the turnips, carrots, squash, onions, and garlic in a roasting pan, then sprinkle with the cumin, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and gently toss together to coat. Place the pan of vegetables on the rack underneath the one on which you’ll put the lamb. Remove the lamb from the marinade and place the meat directly on the oven rack above the pan of vegetables. Cook for about 1 hour, tossing the vegetables halfway through. Serve the lamb with the vegetables and the remainder of the flavoured yogurt on the side. Serves 4 to 6.

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Add the marinade ingredients to a large Ziploc bag, then put in the chicken and marinate it overnight in the fridge.


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When you’re ready to cook, place the potatoes in a roasting pan and toss with salt, pepper and cumin and enough olive oil to moisten them. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the vegetables on the rack below the rack where you’ll put the chicken. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place the meat directly on the oven rack. Cook for about 1 hour, or until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165°F, tossing the vegetables every so often while they are baking. Serves 6 to 8.

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the sunday project

with Nicole Gomes

Making your own pasta

new! Welcome to our new department, The Sunday Project. Most cooking seems to be quickety-quick these days, with people running here and there, and there’s nothing wrong with that... sometimes. We at City Palate like to cook and often find it relaxing to spend time enjoying the process. We also like to make things from scratch that are so easy to find everywhere in the stores. Making from scratch helps us to appreciate how much work and attention to detail goes into preparing really good food products, like the fresh pasta you can find at our great Italian stores. You also have control over what goes into what you’re creating from scratch. With that in mind, this first Sunday Project is making fresh pasta, with Nicole Gomes, chef and owner of Nicole Gourmet Catering. Nicole shows us how to make the pasta, how to roll it into sheets so you can use it to make noodles or filled pasta, and how to make the noodles and little filled pastas, filling and sauces and all.

Pasta Dough Makes approximately 50 ravioli or a whack of noodles, depending on how wide you cut them. 1-1/3 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 2 extra large good quality eggs plus 2 egg yolks 3 T. extra-virgin olive oil

By-Hand Method: 1. Making the dough, well in flour, eggs in well

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Place the flour on a clean surface. Make a well in the centre and add the two whole eggs, the yolks and the olive oil. Use a fork or spoon to break up the eggs, then slowly start bringing the flour into the eggs, mixing together well. Stir until you have a dough that is easily workable with your hands (it should feel not too wet and just come together). Knead well until it becomes smooth, silky and elastic. Food Processor Method:

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Place the flour in the food processor. Beat the whole eggs, yolks and oil. Start the food processor and drizzle in all the egg and oil mixture. The mixture may not form a ball, but test the dough by taking some of the mixture and, if it easily presses together without crumbling, it’s ready. The mixture should come together easily when pressed together but not be too moist and doughy or too dry. Wrap the dough in cling film and let it rest at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Pasta dough is ready for pasta machine

4. Cranking dough through the machine to flatten it for cutting into shapes



When you’re ready to shape the pasta, break the dough into four pieces. Take one ball at a time, flatten it with your hand and run it through the thickest setting on your pasta machine. Fold in half width-wise, then lengthwise and repeat this approx. 6 times. Then stop folding and start narrowing down the settings on the dial, dusting the dough very lightly with flour each time you run it through, stopping when the sheet is 1-2 mm thick (the settings on the machine are metric). You can also use a rolling pin but it will take longer than if you have a pasta machine. (Filled pasta instructions continue on page 24)

Making, cooking and saucing noodles: When you have a thin sheet, fold it and cut it into strips by hand for a rustic noodle, like pappardelle, or run through the noodle cutters on the pasta machine. Flour well and store in piles. To cook: Drop the noodles into well-salted boiling water and cook just until al dente, about 2-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pasta. 5. Cutting the dough into pappardelle noodles

Pomodoro Sauce 3 T. extra-virgin olive oil


1/2 small onion, finely diced 1 whole bay leaf 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1/4 t. dried red chile flakes

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1 700-ml. bottle tomato purée (passata), the Italian variety in glass bottles 1/2 c. fresh basil, finely sliced

6. Pappardelle is ready for cooking

salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a pot on medium heat, then add the onions and bay leaf and sweat the onions (cook, covered, over low heat without browning) until soft. Remove the lid and add the garlic and chile flakes, sauté for 2-3 minutes without browning the garlic. Add the tomato purée, turn the heat to simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper. Makes 3 cups.

Pappardelle Funghi 7. Pappardelle goes into the boiling, salted water

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1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 t. dried chile flakes 4 c. mixed mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick, like portobello, shiitake, brown button (crimini) 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

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1 T. porcini powder or dried porcini mushrooms ground fine (optional) 1 T. salt

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1/2 c. dry white wine (like sauvignon blanc or pinot gris)

8. Pappardelle goes into the Pomodoro Sauce

home-made pappardelle noodles 1/2 c. fresh parmesan, finely grated 2 T. Italian parsley, finely chopped olive oil to drizzle 1 T. white truffle oil to drizzle (optional)

9. Add basil and a drizzle of olive oil

10. Mmmm, all you need now is the wine!

In a large deep sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. When you see the oil just start to smoke, add the chile flakes and all mushrooms. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have released their water and have some colour. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the garlic and porcini powder and sauté for 2 minutes, being careful not to brown the garlic. Season with the salt. Add the wine and allow the liquid to reduce by half its volume. Meanwhile, cook the noodles in boiling salted water until al dente, about 2-3 minutes for fresh pasta. Drain the pasta well, reserving about 1/4 c. of the pasta water, and toss it with the sauce until well coated. If the pasta and sauce look a bit dry, add some of the pasta water. Add the parmesan and parsley and toss again. Serve immediately drizzled with olive oil and truffle oil, if you like. Serves 4.

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the sunday project

Making your own pasta

continued from page 22

Making and cooking filled pasta:

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1. The pasta sheets can also be rolled and cut into circles ready for mushroom (or any) filling

Ethiopia, Costa Rica and Sumatra. These select beans

Lay the dough sheets (from step #4) on a lightly floured surface and cover with saran wrap to prevent it from drying until you’re ready to shape. Cut out 3-inch rounds with a cookie cutter. Moisten the edges with egg wash (egg beaten with a little water). Place approximately 1 teaspoon of filling – see recipe below – in the middle. Fold the dough in half over the filling and bring the edges together to seal securely, with no air pockets. This is called a mezzaluna. For a tortellini, do the same thing, but moisten the two tips and bring then together to seal and form a “little hat.” To cook: Drop the filled pasta into well-salted boiling water and cook just until al dente, about 3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pasta. Finish the filled pasta after it’s cooked by sautéeing it in browned butter in a frypan and serving it with grated fresh parmesan cheese. Or, if you prefer, cook it, then serve it with the Pomodoro Sauce (page 23) and grated fresh parmesan. Yum!

are roasted in-store, on a daily basis. Enjoy a fresh-roasted, fresh-brewed beverage while you shop, or purchase a bag of local roast coffee beans to enjoy at home. You can purchase your beans whole, or ask our barista to grind them for you. 2. Nicole applies the filling to the pasta

Mushroom Ricotta Filling for Mezzaluna and Tortellini 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 t. dried chile flakes 2 c. mixed mushrooms, such as portobello, shiitake, brown button (crimini), finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 t. porcini powder or dried porcini mushrooms ground fine (optional)

3. Applying the filling

salt to taste 1/4 c. fresh parmesan, finely grated 1/2 c. dry ricotta (available at Italian markets)

4. Shaping filled pasta

In a large, deep sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. When you see the oil just start to smoke, add the chile flakes and all mushrooms. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until the mushrooms release their water and have some colour. Don’t stir too often, so the mushrooms can get good colour. Turn the heat down to medium, add the garlic and porcini powder and sauté for 2 minutes, being careful not to brown the garlic. Season with salt. Cool to room temperature. Add the parmesan and ricotta. Taste for seasoning. Makes 2 cups or fills about 100 small ravioli.

Notes from Nicole:

5. Mezzaluna, crescent-shaped filled pasta

In regard to the hardware of pasta making – I like the Kitchen Aid attachment for my stand mixer. You can also get a pasta sheeter, a ravioli maker and lots of noodle attachments. The hand-cranked pasta-making machine can be found in Italian markets. I think when making noodles, such as tagliatelle, pappardelle or fettuccine, it’s best to roll the pasta and hand-cut it. Then, it’s much more rustic and authentic. Store any extra pasta well floured in the fridge – make sure the filled pasta isn’t touching each other – for up to a day or you can dry it and store it in airtight containers.

6. Filled pasta can be shaped many ways



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Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters

Pixies Candy Parlour

Blue Door Oil & Vinegar

Spragg’s Meat Shop

Pure Raw Nature

Glassware Creations by Laurie

Dessert Designs

The Cucumber Man

Sunworks Farm

Simple Simon Pies & Soups

Buzz Honey

Symons Valley Ranch Farm Store & Market is your year-round destination for wholesome food and a welcoming community experience. With the expansion complete, there are now 50 producers, bakers, artisans, farmers, butchers and meals-to-go chefs. Watch for the opening of our spacious new restaurant, featuring one of Calgary’s finest and best-known chefs.

OPeN aLL WiNTeR LONG! Farm Store: Thursday 10a-6p (Butcher, Baker, Produce, Meals to Go) • Full Market: Friday 10a-6p; Weekends 10a-5p 14555 Symons Valley Road NW, Calgary • • • Twitter @SymonsValleyRch

great cheap eats

Bistro 2210 2210 - 4th St. SW 403-228-4528 Pam Fortier and Greg Stebbe It was a beautiful, sunny, late-October day when Greg and I headed over to 4th Street to have lunch at Bistro 2210. We’ve been fans for a few years now, hosting wine dinners and birthday celebrations here, and have always enjoyed the food. The room seats about 50, which is a nice, intimate size. It has a modern, casual French bistro feel with chocolate brown walls, tin ceiling and butcher block tables. The wall of windows gives an appealing wash of light, and an opportunity to watch the characters and bustle on 4th St. Greg and I started sharing plates almost a decade ago. We are loathe to leave food, and he got tired of eating 150% of our meals! Sharing courses enables us to enjoy more tastes with no waste. Therefore the $50 challenge seemed just right for us. We started with the Smoked Salmon Lyonnaise with poached egg and capers. The base of the large rectangular platter was lined with thinly sliced, delicately smoked salmon, sprinkled with capers. Perched atop the mound of lightly dressed, cubed potatoes was a perfectly cooked poached egg, which we quickly cut into the potatoes, adding a creamy richness. This was one of those times when the sum of the combined tastes was greater than the parts. It could easily be a satisfying lunch for one. Greg enjoyed a glass of dry Rey Fernando Amontillado sherry with this.

Two can eat well for $50 or less.

Next up was the Steak Frites. The steak was a perfectly grilled 6-oz. flatiron, served on a raft of julienned, slightly al dente parsnips. It came with a generous tumble of hand-cut fries, and a choice of ketchup or truffle mayo; we suggest you opt for the mayo. I tucked into my glass of Domaine Montrose red, All the flavours and textures transported us back to equally satisfying bistro meals in France. We cleaned the plate, satisfied, and drifted off to our awaiting day, thinking of la bonne vie. For a little corner of France-inspired cooking in Calgary, we will return to Bistro 2210.

A good meal doesn’t have to cost a small (or large) fortune, especially these days with the explosion of great casual eateries that offer tasty, interesting, fun food at really affordable prices. Air Canada’s enRoute magazine’s 2013 best new restaurants in Canada named Carino number 6 and MARKET took one of the top 10 people’s choice awards. Really good, casual, interesting, affordable food has hit its stride – brilliant! By great “cheap” eats, we mean this kind of food exactly – a good meal for $50 or less. For our 5th annual eating challenge, we asked a handful of discriminating palates to take $50 and buy a tasty meal for two in a favourite restaurant. This is what they found. (The $50 didn’t include tax and tip.)



The tab at BISTRO 2210: Open Cocktail


Glass Montrose


Salmon Lyonnaise


Steak Frites



$ 50

Shiraz Persian Cuisine 1120 Centre St. NE



fine foods & kitchenware

Matthew Altizer and Brad Maes When I was given the assignment to go for dinner with a friend and spend fifty dollars or less I knew right away what restaurant to go to. I’ve always been a fan of Persian food, and a couple of years ago, I moved into a new neighbourhood only a few blocks away from Shiraz Persian Cuisine. I was delighted.

Great taste found here!

One of the reasons I like Shiraz so much is that the owner, Ferydoon, always meets his customers with an excited, friendly greeting when they come in. You can immediately tell that this man loves what he does, you can see the excitement in his eyes, the excitement that a good chef gets when he’s about to feed his good food to his guests. When we were seated, we ordered a couple of glasses of pomegranate juice and an appetizer. As a creature of habit, I’ll usually try a few different things on the menu until I find my favourites, and Shiraz is no exception to the rule. No matter who I’m with, we always start with a shared dish of kashk-ebademjan, an unusual and complexly flavoured dish made with roasted eggplant, garlic, tomatoes and mint topped with kashk (a Middle Eastern sauce made from fermented yoghurt) and freshly fried shallots. I almost always order the fesenjaan for my main course. It’s a stew made with chicken, ground walnuts and pomegranate molasses, slowly braised until the walnut oil just starts to separate from the sauce. A balancing act of flavours, the rich walnut is perfectly cut by the tartness of the pomegranate. My friend chose the kebab-e-barg, a skewer of tender, delicately seasoned beef strip loin that’s chargrilled and served with saffron rice and charred tomatoes and onions. It’s a simple dish that’s always perfectly seasoned. The gormeh sabzy – a delicious beef stew made with tons of fresh herbs, like parsley, cilantro and fenugreek leaves – is only available on Thursdays and is definitely worth rearranging your dinner schedule for. One tasty treat that’s not on the menu is called tahdig – the coveted crispy crust that forms on the bottom of the pan when you cook rice, Persian style. If you ask Ferydoon very nicely, he might put a big wedge of it on top of your rice.

The tab at SHIRAZ: 1 Kashk-e-Bademjan


1 Fesenjaan


2 Pomegranate Juices Total

for the love of cheese


1 Kebab Barg

1331 - 9th Ave SE Calgary, Alberta Tel: 403.532.8222

1249 kensington rd nw 587.353.3599

6 $ 48 continued on page 30



city palate's

Across 6 To brown meat quickly (4) 8 French eggplant (9) 9 Pigmy of the citrus family (7) 10 Collection of recipes (8)

colossal culinary crossword play to win

13 Breakfast cocktail (6) 14 ‘Colourful’ wheat (3, 4) 16 Paper lid for cooking (9) 19 Bartender of the coffee world (7) 20 Steward of wine (9) 21 Moroccan ‘ketchup’ (7) 24 Grape variety maligned in ‘Sideways’ (6) 27 Cocktail made with St. Germain liqueur (11) 32 Molasses with a British accent (7) 33 Thin flattened piece of meat (8) 34 Indian cooking fat (4) 35 North American fry bread (7) 36 Swiss dish of melted cheesey goodness (8) 39 Sheep’s milk’s leap to immortality (8) 40 Pungent herb helps to better digest beans (7) 41 White grape malvasia relative (10) 45 Mediterranean cooking fat (5, 3) 46 Biscotti by another name (8) 47 Water of life (3, 2, 3) 48 Artichoke liqueur (5) 49 Hanna-Barbera’s treat-loving dog (8) 51 Italian herb paste (5)

2 sets of 2 Tickets to ATP’s Flavours of BC’s Naramata Bench

55 Spicy rabbit stew (12)

Thursday, February 20 @ 7pm Embrace the Okanagan without leaving home! Join winemakers from the boutique wineries of Naramata for an extraordinary wine tasting, tantalizing appetizers, live music and more… all in the stunning foyer of the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Details @ (See ad on page 35)

59 Conical lidded pot (6)

57 Carpenter tool used in the kitchen (4) 58 Endive with split ends (6) 61 Sesame seed butter (6) 62 It scrapes and flips (7) 66 Spoiled wine (6) 68 Crispy pork skin treat (10) 72 Best for holding lakes of gravy (6, 8) 74 Created by an earl (8) 75 Nutty butter (6, 8) 77 Prairie berry (9) 79 Coat with flour (6) 81 Wieners and beans à la française (9)

73 74 84 ‘Little fat one’ (7) 76 85 Fries with a french accent (5, 6) 78 87 Shellfish royalty (7) 79 90 Current rock star of the grain world (6) 80 93 Japanese citrus fruit (4) 83 94 Cooked water (4, 5) 86 95 Traditional plum ‘pud’ fat source (4) 88 96 Edible gland that is neither sweet nor bread (11) 89 99 Mexican cornmeal bundles (7) 91 102 How do you like your chocolate lava cake? (6) 92 104 Twin twists of pasta (7) 97 106 Fuzzy looking apple (6) 98 109 Sauce made with mushrooms (10) 99 111 White grape from the Marche region of Italy (10) 100 112 Delicious dried plum (5) 101 115 Giant green olives (9) 103 116 ‘Head of the shop’ spice blend (3, 2, 6) 105 117 World’s most expensive spice (7) 107 118 Marmalade orange (7) 108 119 Rubber boots for beef (10) 110 120 Pink patio pounder in a glass (4) 113 121 Raw cured salmon (7) 114 82 Kitchen boss (4)


2 sets of 2 cooking classes of your choice from


Mail in your completed puzzle by January 31st, 2014 to: City Palate, 722 - 11th Avenue SW, Calgary T2R 0E4 or fax it to: 403-262-3322, or scan & email it to: CROSSWORD PUZZLE DETAILS ARE ON OUR WEBSITE 28


Down 1 Bugs’ favourite food (7) 2 Brazilian rice and bean dish (8) 3 Chickpea paste (6) 4 The act of food presentation (2, 5) 5 Chianti national symbol (7) 6 Jerk’s customary pepper (6, 6) 7 High quality Ethiopian beans (7) 11 Italian toast (10) 12 Very citrus-y spread (9) 15 Separating wine from muck (9) 17 Roman fish sauce (5) 18 Silver decorating balls (6) 20 Also known as the oyster plant (7) 22 Appetizing sea slug (3, 8) 23 Spanish bites (5) 25 Butter and flour after a massage (5, 5) 26 Poached fish dumplings (9) 28 Fifth taste (5) 29 Tuneful slicer (9) 30 Salad in the style of nice (7) 31 Staple for sailors on long trips (8) 37 Milk that grows on trees (7) 38 Sushi-making necessity (4) 42 Science of viniculture (7) 43 Standard Friday kiddie fare (4, 6) 44 Italian bologna (10) 48 Italian kitchen chief (4) 50 Popeye’s favourite treat (7) 52 Zabaglione with a french accent (7) 53 Eeyore’s favourite treat (10) 54 Incorporate air (5) 56 Ever so slightly bubbly (9) 60 Coffee stained with milk (9) 63 Sea urchin roe (3) 64 Wimpy’s favourite food (9) 65 Seuss-ian accompaniment to ham (5, 4) 67 Under vacuum (4, 4) 69 Not quite burnt (11) 70 Mollusc that won’t work on a beard (5, 5) 71 Bagged bits of chicken, remove before roasting (7) Indian triangle treats (7) Smoked Italian cheese (9) Swiss hazelnut chocolate (8) Basque dish featuring tomatoes and peppers (8) Saves food from taking the stairs (4, 6) Tortilla chip’s companions (6) Italian mirepoix (9) We all scream for (3, 5) Bear who loves pic-a-nics (6) Baked noodle pudding (5) Vodka drink with grapefruit juice (9) French kitchen garden (7) Elderflower liqueur (2, 7) Beef with an Italian accent (8) Chocolates or fungi (8) Tiny stuffed pasta from turkey (5) Masters of wine glasses (5) Cold tomato soup (8) Onions working out (8) Really naughty egg (7) Decorating vegetables with 7 sides (7) Spanish rope of chiles or garlic (6) Rabbit with a beret (5) Creamy Indian rice pudding (5)



city palate 1993 – 2013


Join us for a pop-up party! Date: Saturday, February 8th, 7:30 p.m.

Crowbar 2014 Pop-up party architect Wade Sirois, Infuse Catering, is going all out with a passionate evening of hand-crafted cocktails, food, and entertainment in a very cool, secret location. Your ticket includes cover charge, food, entertainment, and a welcome drink. Additional drinks can be purchased for $12 with $2 from every drink going to the City Palate charity. The secret entrance will be open from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. and last call is at midnight. We could tell you more, but that wouldn’t be much fun, now would it? Location: Secret – announced 48 hours before the event, to ticket holders only! Tickets : $90 pp, pROCEEDS fROm ThIS EvENT wILL GO TO SERvANTS ANONYmOUS

great cheap eats

continued from page 27

Matador Pizza & Steakhouse 4625 Varsity Dr. NW 403-286-3133 Tom Firth and Colleen Kopp-Firth Varsity Estates doesn’t come to mind when you think about fine dining. In fact, it’s well across the city for me these days, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about Matador for two people to eat well for less than $50. I’ve been coming here for more than 15 years and still love it. My wife and I don’t come as much as when we lived in the northwest, but we packed into the car, bottle of wine in hand, and made the 40 minute drive. Matador, at first glance, doesn’t stand out. It has, however, been in the same strip mall since 1976, at the corner of Shaganappi Trail and Varsity Drive, with a small bar and a cozy dining room featuring a nice mix of booths and tables. The menu caters to pizza- and steak-lovers with a range of excellent pizzas (takeout and delivery are also available) and, to be blunt, the best darn oven-baked lasagna I’ve come across. If you are after lighter fare, the salads are fresh, tasty and large. The wine list isn’t anything special, but everything on it is available by the glass, bottle, and liter, and all are well priced. Matador also features a very reasonable corkage fee of $15 (less than two glasses of wine off the list) which pretty much means every time we go, we bring a bottle with us. I usually bring something special from our cellar that I want to drink with a hearty dish. Our lasagna arrives, piping hot, about 8 inches across in a metal dish (not the crappy ceramic boat most “inferior” lasagnas show up in). The cheese is crispy and the lasagna smells meaty, cheesy, and delicious, ready to take away the winter chill. You’ll want to wait a minute before tucking into it, enjoy a sip or two of wine, and start small. The first bite will burn your tongue a little, but it tastes like heaven. Eating, talking, drinking, and enjoying, we work through the dish over the next half hour feeling full, relaxed, and just enjoying ourselves. Being held to a $50 budget, we didn’t experiment too much with our choices. For dessert, we shared the banana cheesecake. It wasn’t as awesome as the lasagna, but it was a tasty ending to our meal. (Consider adding meatballs to the lasagna – they’re really good too.) It might not be fancy dining, but the service is always friendly and earnest. We go to eat well, enjoy a nice bottle of wine, and not worry too much about the details. This is the perfect neighbourhood restaurant that you wish was in your neighbourhood.

The tab at MATADOR: Corkage Fee


2 Oven Baked Lasagnas @ $14 28 Banana Cheesecake Total



7 $ 50

Original Joe’s Restaurant & Bar #105, 4820 Northland Dr. NW 403-282-5225

SAY CHEESE FROMAGERIE & REGINA’S FINE MEATS... Entertaining heaven – at the Crossroads Farmers’ Market! Shelley Boettcher and Anders Knudsen Anders and I live in the northwest, near the university, and while there are some excellent takeout places, there aren’t many independent eateries near our home. But we don’t always have the time or cash to drive downtown every time we’re on a date. So, when we have a spare 50 bucks and a couple of kidfree hours, we head to Original Joe’s. Original Joe’s was started in Calgary in 1997 (the first location was in Marda Loop). There are now 11 across the city, and a slew of others across western Canada. It takes us 10 minutes to walk to the Brentwood restaurant, which means I can always find my way home if I have a glass (or three) of wine. Located in a strip mall, the place is nothing spectacular outside. But even on the busiest night, we can find a table without a reservation.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The place is large, with lots of neighbourly ambiance: hipsters and wannabes, soccer moms and hockey dads, local salespeople. It’s rare to not see someone we recognize – the Brentwood equivalent of Coronation Street. On our most recent visit, I ordered a glass of Urban Riesling ($7.75) and the Long Beach Fish Tacos ($14.75). They are addictive – spicy and light, with loads of fish, cilantro, avocado and chipotle sauce. Just enough crunch and heat. Anders ordered the Dragon Boat Lettuce Wraps ($11.25). It’s an appetizer, but it’s big enough for a light meal. Like my tacos, the dish has generous amounts of chicken, hoisin sauce, sesame and cashews, served atop romaine lettuce. He was happy with his beverage – Original Joe’s Blonde Lager ($5).


Ti c ke t s $ 7 5 • I t ’s t h e f u n d ra i s e r w i t h p e r s o n a l i t y ! 403-294-7402

The beer selection isn’t massive but it’s sufficient, and it includes a line of Original Joe’s own beers. Pretty much every night one is on sale – a pint for a fiver. The wine list is small and mostly by-the-glass. A couple of six-ounce pour choices are only $5.50. On Thursdays, bottles are half price. I always see neighbours there on Thursdays. I have never ordered dessert at Original Joe’s, but the choices look good – crème brûlée and cookies and milk. After two meals and two drinks, however, we still had money in the budget. Next time. There’s always a next time.

The tab at Original Joe’s: 1 pint of Original Joe’s Blonde Lager


1 (6 oz) glass of Urban Riesling


Long Beach Fish Tacos


Dragon Boat Lettuce Wraps 11.25 Total

$ 38.75 continued on page 32 CITY JANUARY FEBRUARY 2014


great cheap eats

city palate

continued from page 31

Posto Pizzeria and Bar

1993 – 2013

1014 - 8 St SW 403-263-4876


Join us for a kitchen party!

You might think that finding a $50 meal for two with a glass of wine would be harder to do this year than last, but my dining companion, Nancy Brown of Say Cheese, and I were pleased to find that the newly opened Posto Pizzeria and Bar on 8th St. SW had us more than covered. Posto is the charming new sibling of Bonterra and Cibo, right next door to the ever-lovely Bonterra. Showcasing Creative Restaurant Group’s signature repurposed wood décor, started with Cibo, the space is small and intimate with comfortable chairs, a spacious bar and open kitchen. It’s always fun to watch pizzas being made and the bright blue oven continually draws your eye. Looking almost too young to be operating the magnificent red slicer at the end of the bar, Chef Ben Mills’ skills are more than evident in Posto’s imaginative and well-priced menu. There will be specials offered and a porchetta dinner served on a first-come, first-served basis.

Date: Thursday, March 13th, 5:30 p.m.

SAIT Kitchen Party We team up with SAIT’s culinary students and Downtown Calgary’s Big Taste for the Kitchen Party of the year. Join us for an interactive evening of food, wine and conviviality where you’ll help prepare dinner, then enjoy it with wines poured by Township 7 Vineyards & Winery and Summerhill Pyramid Winery.

This night, however, we started with two glasses of Saint Sidoine, a tasty Côtes de Provence still rosé. We love a rosé any time of the year. We then ordered the Bonterra bread basket to accompany the imported salami plate with marinated artichokes and fun-to-eat lupini beans. The bread basket contained plenty of fresh focaccia, crisp cracker bread and slim, cheesy bread sticks, perfect tastes and textures to complement the three distinctive salamis.

Location: SAIT Downtown Campus, #226, 230 - 8th Ave. SW Tickets: $125 pp, visit for all the delicious details!

We could have gone on grazing more of these goodies, but a pizza beckoned. The potato, leek, crème fraîche and smoked pancetta piqued our interest and we were not disappointed. Heavenly! For an extra two bucks we topped it with arugula and called it salad. The crust was thin and crispy, the kind of crust you never leave on your plate. As a result, we actually had a couple of pieces of pizza to take home.


This is indeed a charming addition to the panoply of pizza joints popping up in the city these days, but Posto does so much more, offering anything from a little to a lot, a quick nosh or a lengthy dinner. And last, but not least, the service was terrific. The young woman taking care of us couldn’t have been more delightful and the barman was a flirt as all barmen should be! ✤

Win eri es

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Food & Wine Trails Magazine is BC’s most trusted wine touring guide and portal into BC wine country life. Keep up-to-date with the food, wine and farm buzz in each wine region and plan your next visit around our special events schedule. Read all about the best places to sip, swirl, stay and play in BC’s delicious food and wine world. Go to our website to find out where to pick up your copy of Food & Wine Trails Magazine in Alberta or how to subscribe now. 32


The tab at POSTO: 2 Glasses Saint Sidoine, Côtes De Provence, Rosé Bonterra Bread

16 2

Imported Salami with Marinated Artichokes and Lupini Beans


Potato, Crème Fraîche, Leek, Smoked Pancetta Pizza


Added Arugula Total:

2 $ 47












WINE MARKET FRIDAY JANUARY 24, SATURDAY JANUARY 25 & SUNDAY JANUARY 26 ONLY! • All in-store wine discounted 15% • All in-store single malt scotch* discounted 15% • • All in-store beer discounted 5% • Other in-store special discounts • In-store or online only, no phone orders, special orders or layaway. No other promotional discounts apply. *Scotch Malt Whisky Society products not available for discount.

1257 Kensington Road NW, Calgary •




Soup's On! by Ellen Kelly

Cooking a soupy melange in a pot is perhaps the oldest known culinary technique, after man threw his first haunch of prehistoric wildebeest on the fire. The cauldron heralded an “industrial revolution” in the kitchen. Grains and legumes, seeds, herbs and greens, the occasional bone or scrap of meat long cooked over a fire – this porridge-like hodgepodge became the sustaining meal of the day. Modern soup is often relegated to a first course or a quick lunch with a salad or sandwich, but historically, soup, or “sop” from the German (the bread over which the pottage was poured), was, for thousands of years, what brought people together around the hearth.

Stock-making tips: If you only make soup once a week, it’s perfectly reasonable, and painless, to make your own stock. Chicken or vegetable stocks are the easiest and most versatile, but a stout beef stock is good to have on hand as well. A minimum of labour will produce enough frozen elixir for weeks to come; a stock may take anywhere from one (fish), two (chicken) or four or more (beef) hours to cook, but the initial preparation couldn’t be easier. Start with a large Ziploc bag or plastic bucket in the freezer and squirrel away choice scraps – chicken and turkey bones and carcasses; beef and ham bones; flabby carrots and celery; left over sautéed mushrooms; parsley stems; green onion and leek root ends; clean potato and carrot peels; zucchini parings; too-ripe tomatoes; fennel tops; a wrinkled apple or two – all, and more, are grist for the soup mill. Avoid using strong tasting vegetables like cabbage, turnip, broccoli, asparagus, beets, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, unless the stock is earmarked for a soup featuring that particular vegetable. Spread out your frozen booty along with coarsely chopped onion, carrot and celery and more beef bones or fowl carcasses (depending on the flavour of stock you’re making) in a roasting pan. Pop into a hot oven until just caramelized, not burnt. In the case of beef stock, an onion studded with 8 whole cloves and a tin of tomato paste will add depth and richness.

Every country has its own classic soups – Japanese Miso, French Onion Soup, Thai Tom Yum, New England Clam Chowder, Minestrone Milanese, Ukrainian Borscht, Chinese Won Ton, Mexican Menudo, Jamaican Pepper-Pot, Scotch Broth – the list is practically endless. From every locale, the world over, soups have evolved to represent what is local and seasonal, what is most characteristic of common folk. Whether it’s a classic recipe or an inspired creation of your own, this simple task fills us with a deserved sense of pride. There are some decent canned stocks on the market, but the challenge of taking ingredients we might just as easily have thrown away and making something wholesome and delicious for family and friends is one worth rising to. If you have good stock, you have good soup.

Dump the lot into a deep stockpot and add aromatics such as parsley, whole garlic cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme sprigs. Cover with cold water, slowly bring to a boil and reduce to a gentle simmer. Skim as required. Resist the urge to add salt. Season the soup, not the stock, as Aliza Green says in her new book The Soupmaker’s Kitchen. Strain out the solids, cool the stock, and then pour into containers and freeze. Don’t roast fish heads and bones; a bitter stock will be the result. Save and freeze fish heads and bones from filleting salmon, halibut or trout and whole baked fish; save the liquid left from steaming clams and mussels; save shells from shrimps and lobsters. In a little olive oil, stir the shells briskly over high heat for 5 minutes or so until bright pink. Toss in any fish bits and add an equal amount of aromatics – chopped leeks, chopped fennel tops and celery, 1 halved lemon, 1 garlic clove, a bay leaf, a bunch of parsley and a few white peppercorns. Cook for a few minutes more and then deglaze with a splash of white wine. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, lower to a gentle simmer and cook for no more than an hour or so. Skim, strain, cool and freeze. Please do not mistake your stockpot for a fairy tale vessel that will magically turn garbage into liquid gold. You’re not Rumplestiltskin! Soft vegetables a little past their “best by” date are one thing, but desiccated, mouldy or slimy items are another. Vegetable cooking liquid is great to add to a stock as well, but it can get a little weird in the freezer unless you have lots of room; carefully label all the little containers of nondescript liquid and, of course, regularly make stock. continued on page 36







Meet Every Expectation


on 4th


150-1800 4th street sw| 403.453.3670 | Willow Park Village 10816 Macleod Trail South | 403.278.1220

Compleat Cook Cooking Classes

Visit Our Award Winning Sister Restaurant

LeVilla Chophouse West

404-1800 Sirocco Drive SW | 403.217.9699

3400 – 114 Avenue SE | 403.253.4831

Lunch | Dinner |Private Events CITY JANUARY FEBRUARY 2014


Soup's on! continued from page 34

Cream of Onion and Apple Soup This is just a basic French onion soup recipe with a twist. For the classic, use beef stock and red wine and omit the apple and cream entirely. Ladle into heavy bowls, top with a sourdough crouton and grated gruyère cheese. Melt the cheese under the broiler to serve. 3 T. butter

lunch | dinner | escape 220 – 42 avenue se | 403 287 9255 | @alloyrestaurant

Carrot and Parsnip Soup

3 T. olive oil

This is a simple but elegant soup, equally at home at a casual lunch or a fancy dinner. Leave out the wine if you worry about the kids.

4 lbs. large onions, halved and thinly sliced

1 T. olive oil

2 bay leaves

1 T. butter

1 T. fresh thyme leaves

1 large leek (white part only), cleaned and chopped

1/4 c. flour

4-5 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

16 c. (4 L) chicken or vegetable stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 T. brandy

1/2 c. dry white wine

Melt the butter with the oil in a large heavybottomed pot. Add the onions, grated apple and sugar and combine well. Tongs are the perfect tool for this until the onions cook down enough to stir.

fresh chives or sprigs of chervil

Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy pot and sauté the leek until soft. Add the carrots and parsnips and continue to cook for 5 minutes; season with a little salt and pepper. Add the wine and deglaze, scraping up bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are very soft. Remove the pot from the heat and purée with a hand-held blender. Taste and season again. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream and a sprinkle of chives or a few sprigs of chervil. Serves 6 to 8.





1 c. dry sherry or dry white wine 1 c. crème fraîche

crème fraîche or sour cream (optional)


2 T. sugar

4-5 medium parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped

8 c. rich chicken or vegetable stock


1 lb. peeled, cored and grated tart apples

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Add the bay leaves and thyme. Cook over medium heat until the onions are soft and caramelized to a deep golden brown, stirring often. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes. Add the wine and deglaze, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom. Add the stock, bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until smooth and slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Add water if the soup becomes too thick. Stir in the crème fraîche, season with salt and pepper, then stir in the brandy just before serving. Serves 8 to 12.

Turkey Mulligatawny Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

Time to use up that Christmas turkey stock lurking in the freezer. This is an ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen recipe I tampered with. Mulligatawny means “pepper water” and likely began life as a stew.

Margaret Nemeth, at Primal Soups in Kingsland Market, is well known in Calgary for her terrific soups. This one is gluten-free and dairy-free, if you leave out the butter.

2 T. olive oil

1 T. butter

2 T. butter

1 large onion, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

1 stalk celery, diced

1/2 t. grated fresh ginger

1/2 red pepper, diced

2-3 T. good curry powder

1 lb. mild Italian sausage meat

1/4 c. flour

1 T. fennel seeds

1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes

1/4 c. sherry

6 c. turkey stock

8 c. (2 L) rich chicken stock

2 carrots, diced

1 t. Clubhouse Greek seasoning mix

2 celery stalks, diced

2 14-oz. cans diced tomatoes

1/4 c. currants (optional)

2 c. chopped fresh spinach or Swiss chard

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 c. cooked rice

pinch freshly grated nutmeg

salt and freshly ground black pepper

dash Tabasco

Heat the oil and butter in a large, heavy soup pot and sauté the onion until soft, but not browned. Add the garlic, celery and red pepper and cook another 3-4 minutes. Crumble the sausage meat into the pot and cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon. Add the fennel seeds, and then deglaze with the sherry, scraping up the bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, seasoning mix, tomatoes and spinach or chard. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the seasoning. Stir in the cooked rice and heat through, about 5 minutes. Serves 6 to 8 generously.

generous dash of Worcestershire sauce 1/2 c. heavy cream 1-1/2 c. diced cooked chicken or turkey meat 2 medium apples, peeled, diced and tossed in lemon juice 2 c. cooked rice

Heat the oil and butter in a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and flour and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and mix well to incorporate the roux. Add the stock, carrots, celery, currants, salt and pepper, nutmeg, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and add the cream, meat and apples. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Stir in the rice and heat through, about 5 minutes, before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

1 T. olive oil

Restaurant | Lounge Open Nightly from 4pm 1919 4th Street SW | @CandelaCalgary

Portuguese Caldo Verde This simple soup is one of the thoughtfully presented recipes in Aliza Green’s new book, The Soupmaker’s Kitchen. Caldo verde means “hot green broth” and utilizes the ever-popular and good-for-you kale. 1/2 c. good olive oil 1/2 lb. chorizo sausage meat 1 large onion, diced 12 c. (3 L) chicken or vegetable stock 2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, diced 3 garlic cloves, minced kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 large bunch kale, ribs removed and shredded

Place the olive oil in a large, heavy Dutch oven and heat. Add the sausage meat and brown while breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until soft but not browned.

For the perfect ent panim accom soups to your go crackers on the ge! next pa

Add the stock and scrape up the tasty browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the potatoes and garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently until the potatoes are partially cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Add the kale and continue to cook until tender, another 20-30 minutes. Taste for seasoning; serve with corn bread. Serves 8 to 10 generously. ✤


Watch our flood story

Ellen Kelly is a chef and a regular contributor to City Palate. CITY JANUARY FEBRUARY 2014


Going Crackers The non-cook makes crackers because it’s so freaking easy! by Kathy Richardier

My friend Doug is not a cook, but he’s also not a fussy eater and he cleans up. That works for both of us. Every now and then, however, he gets the urge to do something in the kitchen that’s not... like... making a whole meal. Enjoy 2 medium Ice Cream cones for $8. (Each cone includes 1 mixin in a Vanilla Waffle Cone.) Valid at Calgary locations only. Limit one per customer. No cash value. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Price does not include tax.

EXPIRES FEB. 28, 2014 - Promo 1328

A couple of years ago, he decided he wanted to make bread. “It’s so primordial,” he declared, “practically the first thing man made after he made fire and beer.” So we found that no-knead Jim Lahey recipe from 2006, and the noncook made bread. More recently, he thought it might be fun to make crackers. “Even easier than bread – and ready almost immediately.” Instant gratification is always a good sell. So we made crackers. We found a recipe on a web site called Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen ( and it did turn out to be so freaking easy that we make crackers just about every time we make soup. Which is often. We did a little adapting of the recipe to suit our dry climate and our tastes, but it’s pretty much exactly the same.

Maria’s Crackers 2 c. organic whole wheat pastry flour (we used Co-op organic all-purpose white) 1 t. salt 2/3 c. warm water – we used generous measures to account for our extra-dry climate 1/3 c. olive oil – use a lush, fruity, flavourful one, like Nefiss Lezizz extra-virgin, which is what we use. It’s as luscious as luscious gets. You’ll need a bit for the baking pan, too.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Put the flour, salt, water and olive oil in a large bowl and stir until all the flour is absorbed, about a minute, until you get a soft dough. Get a heavy-duty baking tray with edges – like what you’d use to make cookies, but with edges – and slather it lightly with olive oil. Even if it’s the non-stick kind, a little oil all over it never hurts the flavour of the crackers! Put the dough on the tray and pat it out to cover the whole bottom, which it mostly will, but the rustic look is what you want, so you don’t have to be fussy. Pat so that the dough is pretty much an even thickness throughout, which will yield crispier crackers. Take a sharp knife – we used a pizza cutter – and cut the dough into squares, as we did, or any shape you like. Sprinkle the top with more salt – we used flaky Maldon salt and a black lava sea salt that we brought back from Hawaii. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the crackers are golden. They’ll firm up more when they cool.

The potential variations are endless – we add a spoon or two of cornmeal to the flour mixture because we love the texture, and once we sprinkled the top with dried oregano. Add what your imagination dictates – cheese, nuts, herbs, seeds, spices... pretty much anything, maybe even chocolate! Or maybe not. We go through the whole batch with soup at dinner. You can store them, but they aren’t likely to last long enough! ✤



T H E F L A V O U R O F C A L G A R Y ' S food S C E N E

city palate 1993 – 2013

CELEBRATING 2 0 DELICIOUS YEARS w i t h 2 0 DELICIOUS e v e n t s City Palate turned 20 years old in 1993 and continues it’s 20th anniversary celebrations with fundraising events scheduled through June 2014. We want to celebrate Calgary's amazing food culture with the people who support us and read us and we want to give back to the community – proceeds from these events will go to Calgary charities. We hope you continue to join us to celebrate this delicious milestone...


Date: Now!

Date: Now!


Colossal Culinary Crossword

CP Culinary Travel Grant

City Palate presents a super-big, super-fun culinary crossword puzzle. When you finish, send it in for your chance to win some delicious prizes.

Open to all “back-of-the-house” restaurant cooks – City Palate can help further your culinary education with a travel grant.

Location: Page 28/29

Submissions due March 21st via .


Date: Monday, January 27th, 2014

Bill to Tail: A Specialty Dinner Avec Noble Farms

s o ld o u t!

Ever wanted to enjoy eating duck 20 ways with wines to match? Now’s your chance! Darnell Japp, executive chef at Avec Bistro, pays homage to the noble duck and to Noble Duck Farms, by creating a menu of delectable duck dishes paired with a variety of wines from Okanagan Crush Pad. Location: Avec Bistro, #105, 550 - 11th Ave. SW Tickets: $100 pp,


Date: Saturday, February 8th, 7:30 p.m.

Crowbar 2014 (see ad on page 30)

Pop-up party architect Wade Sirois, Infuse Catering, is going all out with a passionate evening of hand-crafted cocktails, food, and entertainment in a very cool, secret location. Your ticket includes cover charge, food, entertainment, and a welcome drink. Additional drinks can be purchased for $12 with $2 from every drink going to the City Palate charity. The secret entrance will be open from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. and last call is at midnight. We could tell you more, but that wouldn’t be much fun, now would it? Location: Secret – announced 48 hours before the event, to ticket holders only! Tickets : $90 pp, proceeds from this event will go to servants anonymous

Date: Thursday, March 13th, 5:30 p.m.

Follow us on Facebook and check for updates, and late breaking culinary news! Date: Wednesday, May 7th, 7 p.m.

Illustrations by Pierre Lamielle

Chefly Screen Shots

SAIT Kitchen Party (see ad on page 32)


We team up with SAIT’s culinary students and Downtown Calgary’s Big Taste for the Kitchen Party of the year. Join us for an interactive evening of food, wine and conviviality where you’ll help prepare dinner, then enjoy it with wines poured by Township 7 Vineyards & Winery and Summerhill Pyramid Winery. Location: SAIT Downtown Campus, #226, 230 - 8th Ave. SW Tickets: $125 pp, visit for all the delicious details! proceeds from this event go to a scholarship fund for SAIT culinary students


Date: Monday, June 9th , 6-10 pm

20 for 20 Wrap-up Party

City Palate partners with Calgary Folk Music Festival and Calgary Underground Film Festival to present a series of short, silent films featuring Calgary chefs. These films will be projected on a large screen while local musicians play live music, composed specifically for these moving pictures. After the screening, the crowd will enjoy appetizers that merrily reference the food prepared in the films. Food. Film. Music. Fun.

City Palate wraps it all up with a sexy summer soirée. Ox & Angela will be transformed into a grand tapas bar, complete with four paella stations and a sherry tasting. This night of divine, Mediterranean revelry is the perfect finish to an exciting year.

Location: Festival Hall, 1215 - 10 Ave. SE, Tickets: $60, and

Location: Ox & Angela, 528 - 17 Ave. SW, Tickets: $75 pp,




Food for Dummies

were already taken, but because it really was an animal’s tongue. (In case you’re wondering, I haven’t touched the stuff since; nor have I inflicted it upon my family.) Until my potato incident at Superstore, I had convinced myself that today’s generation of children (and that includes my own) are growing up far more informed about food than I was. How can they not, with television networks devoted to cooking, farmers’ markets in every city, and (in some select locations) an entire chain of grocery stores called Whole Foods? The truth is, however, that whole foods are increasingly rare, even in Whole Foods. The Whole Foods near my friend’s house in Washington, DC is taken up almost exclusively by island after island of salad bars with prepared foods for bureaucrats too busy to wash, peel, chop, and cook for themselves. There is no Whole Foods store in my city, but our local supermarkets are stocked with products designed to make life easier for busy adults while simultaneously ensuring that our children will grow up unable to differentiate between a carrot and a cocktail wiener, and unaware that the green stuff in the plastic bag labeled “Asian salad” is sold separately a few meters away under the names “lettuce” and “cabbage.” The other day, strolling through the produce section, I discovered a container of raw, peeled garlic. I was mesmerized – I love garlic – but it got me wondering: who needs that much garlic at one time? Vampire hunters? Soccer moms preparing a spaghetti dinner for every team on the tournament roster? I contemplated hanging around for a while to discover the target consumer (I’ve never seen a vampire hunter), but I have better things to do with my time, such as making an inventory of how many other items in the produce section are sold ready-to-eat. Here’s a little of what I learned. In addition to cut-up melons, strawberries, onions, lettuce, spinach and mushrooms, you can now buy corn, shucked and still attached to the cob. All you have to do is dump it into boiling water. How long it’s been sitting on its Styrofoam tray, covered with plastic wrap, is unclear. But the sugars in corn break down as soon as it’s picked, so the longer you wait to eat your fresh-picked stuff, the worse it tastes, which is why I didn’t buy any. You also no longer need to trouble yourself by purchasing an entire head of celery. You can buy celery stalks washed and trimmed to a uniform size, packaged in a resealable bag, and so denuded of their very celery-ness (i.e, leaves, wide bottoms, and dirt-infested grooves) that they bear more resemblance to slabs of green licorice than to a vegetable whose leaves, when simmered with water, onions, carrots and chicken bones, make the difference between a pedestrian broth and Bubby’s cure-all for the common cold.

“I can’t believe you BOUGHT that!” by Debby Waldman

In late September I was strolling through my local Superstore when I noticed a great deal on frozen French fries. I was about to load up my cart when I remembered that French fries are made from potatoes. That revelation was followed by an internal monologue that went something like this: September is potato season in Alberta, you idiot. Buy the fresh potatoes on sale for 39 cents a pound, wash them – you don’t even have to peel them – cut them, and make your own fries. And so I went home and fried some russets in a pool of oil, and my husband and children finished every last one, because they love fried stuff. However, they hate cleaning up after dinner, so I was abandoned in the kitchen, just me, a greasy pot, and my thoughts. My main thought was this: how and when had I developed the gastronomical equivalent of face blindness – call it “food blindness” – the inability to recognize a food item with which you are intimately familiar?

Fresh pineapple is now sold in chunks, quarters and rings. You may wonder how this differs from what James Dole began marketing shortly after he bought a Hawaiian island and turned it into the world’s largest pineapple plantation in the early 1900s. In my day, Dole’s pineapple came in tin cans and had the shelf life of Carbon-14. The packaged pineapple in modern produce departments comes in plastic containers and is intended to be consumed before next month’s issue of The Hockey News lands in your mailbox. More intriguing than cut-up vegetables, though, are ready-made products such as guacamole and smoothies. I mean, how hard is it to cut an avocado, smash it, and mix in some lemon juice and salt? Or to peel a banana and throw it into a blender with yogurt, milk or juice, and whatever else you have on hand (berries, maple syrup, chocolate syrup)? Judging from the variety of such products on the market, it must be hard indeed. I’m a snob, so I avoid ready-made dips, but in the name of responsible reporting, I felt obligated to taste some prepackaged guacamole. The product was extremely green, and I was surprised to discover that it did not taste terrible. It did not taste wonderful, either, but I could tell it had been made from an avocado and not from, say, chalk, which is more than I can say for the prepackaged smoothie that I sampled at my local Costco not long ago. At least the smoothie was smooth. One woman I know told me that her husband bought a prepackaged smoothie and wound up swallowing a chunk of mold, which is yet another reason that I will avoid buying food that I can easily prepare at home.

My initial assessment was that this is a relatively new condition, but as I thought back to my childhood, I realized I’d pretty much grown up food blind. I am, after all, a member of the TV dinner generation (you may know us as the Baby Boomers), which means that I came of age in an era when supermarket food was divorced entirely from its origins. I grew up believing that green beans grew in uniform oneinch pieces, chicken was a form of food named for body parts, and bread could only be obtained sliced, in a plastic bag at the grocery store.

I’m not talking about bread, pasta, and cheese – although I have made all three and still do from time to time. I mean simple, basic things, like a roasted chicken, or salad dressing, or hummus, or real macaroni and cheese (not the stuff that comes in a box with flavoured powder in a foil package). Sure, they require more time and effort, but the end product will taste better. And if you’ve got young people around who can help out, the work will go faster – and you’ll be doing your part to ensure that the next generation of eaters won’t grow up food blind. ✤

I have a vivid recollection of one of my most painful revelations. I was standing by my aunt and uncle’s refrigerator, which I had just raided, when I realized that the cold cut I was eating was named tongue not because the names bologna and salami

Debby Waldman lives in Edmonton, with children who know how to make bread, and a busy husband who thinks that the person who invented ready-made pot roast should win a Nobel Prize.



We’re passionate about keeping it local. We started a grocery right in our neighbourhood, and staffed it with friends and family. Then we stocked it with products from regional suppliers and people around the world who actually care about what they produce.

Diamonds Make the Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift In-store or online, find the perfect gift for your valentine

We think it’s a great place to shop, but what do we know…

we’re just a bunch of locals.

1st Ave & 10th St N.E.

226 - 10816 Macleod Trail Southeast, Calgary



A Resolution to


How food industry peeps celebrate when off the clock. story and photos by Dan Clapson

Host Chris Shaften has a word with his guests

Potluck spread

It’s no secret that January is a quiet month. After a neverending sea of holiday work events, shopping for presents and visits from extended family – which can be the most trying times of all – most people (and their wallets) feel exhausted. At that point, having fun is not front of mind, let alone trying to be economical while you’re at it. But who are we kidding? It’s a new year. A brand new year! That’s cause for celebration, whether or not money is abundant. If you’re craving some social interaction on a cold winter’s evening, why not opt for a good old-fashioned potluck? The best part about hosting a potluck is that people have to take their leftovers – and dirty dishes – home with them. You’ll still have to clean up, but the aftermath will seem minimal compared to that of a holiday dinner party. First things first. The key to any great gathering is an eclectic guest list. Contrasting personalities make for great conversation and a fully engaged room. Sticking with that mentality, what better spectrum of guests to plunder than that of the food and beverage world? What do you get when you put a bakery owner, some chefs, a food truck owner and a couple of writers together in one room for a potluck? We discovered that it made for a wonderful melting pot of conversation and, of course, delicious food. Our host was Chris Shaften, owner of Taste First, a private chef and catering company and a familiar face from last year’s season of Top Chef Canada. Not surprisingly, Shaften loves entertaining. Before the other guests arrive, we chat, sip some wine, and talk about parties past. Shaften tantalizes my taste buds when he says, “Last Christmas, I got together with friends – all cooks working for me at the time – and had a ‘Festivus for the rest of us’ party that included an amazing waffle bar, smoked Manhattans, mulled wine, quiche and cookies.” As we continue to chat and guests begin to arrive, he forms and fills a tourtière with the kind of effortlessness we avid home cooks would kill to have when we’re playing host. Since he’s in his own home and not a professional kitchen, Shaften feels compelled to garnish the traditional meat-filled pastry with something a bit less traditional than egg wash-brushed pastry leaves: A Wu-Tang Clan symbol. The logo for his favourite rap group of the 1990s, whose music plays in the background as he pops his creation into the oven to bake. “I hang out with industry people because we ‘get’ each other,” says Kerry Bennett, proprietor of Calgary’s premier gluten-free bakery, Care Bakery. She continues while tossing a gigantic pile of chicken wings with a rich, salty marinade made with tamari, soy sauce’s gluten-free cousin. “I love cooking with friends and spending our dinner talking about what’s going to be for breakfast.” Food truck owner Nicole Fewell furthers Bennett’s point. “We share a passion for food and feeding people. There’s a camaraderie that goes with the territory, knowing that we are all digging in and getting it done. I love how supportive and collaborative the industry is in Calgary.” Though Fewell’s popular food truck, Cheezy Bizness, has been on the road just short of two years, she’s known throughout the city’s food scene, working at the original Concorde on 17th Avenue (now Local 510) “back in the day” as she says, with nowrestaurateurs like Vince Wong (Diner Deluxe) and Jody Perrin (Blue Star Diner).



Kerry Bennett and Diana Ng having a good laugh

“The food truck end-of-season parties are always a blast. War stories from the season get aired and we all blow off a bit of steam,” Fewell says while her bone marrow dish finishes roasting in the oven. Mel Lafleur, executive chef of One Horn Developments (which owns Libertine, Below Deck and The Unicorn), chimes in. “I had a dinner party at my house once and invited a few chefs, sous’, a couple servers. We decided to make it ‘white trash,’ so people brought everything from Jell-O moulds and awful casseroles to pigs in a blanket... anything that could have been found in a really old cookbook!” She laughs at the memory. “I was a little younger and way less mature back then, but I think we definitely drank more than we ate.” We’re very lucky in Calgary. The “stronger together” mentality that brings the city together was showcased perfectly during last summer’s floods. That way of thinking also holds true for our food community. Whether you’re a writer, chef, server or (dare I say) blogger, it seems like we’re always happy to break bread with others who are investing their time and energy in our ever-growing culinary scene. Gwendolyn Richards, the Calgary Herald's food writer and soon-to-be cookbook author, puts the finishing touches on her biryani-style quinoa salad, brightened up with grapefruit zest, while Bennett pours her a drink. Richards is actually recipe testing on the crowd tonight for the final copy of her book, Pucker. Camaraderie in action, indeed! “Having food writers around is a bonus, because we get to trade gossip,” jokes Shaften, mid-slice through a golden tourtière, getting ready to dish out his offering to the room. “Seriously, though, they can fill us in on what everyone else (in the industry) is doing and we can share our tips and tricks with them.” Food writer, Diana Ng agrees with the chef. “It’s great to hear about all of the ins and outs in a less Tips formal setting. It’s difficult Party Experts potluck to talk when chefs and the rs in a from or participafttehese poinytbeest. servers are at work, o rt st few to pa u ho especially when re yo za, take a ow how o f ) e B they’re busy and zness rink. agan ho kn ezybi going to d xtrav folks w e e h c @ e ( e chefs are in their h l ’r t l e ou dd from e Few han y can a ett) whites, upholdNicol ore wine t benn bles. You a festive. y r r e gm extr amk with bub ing an image of hat’s tt (@i ys brin enne e greeted ul punch t Alwa B y r f authority.” Ker ays b olour much mr) ould


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Home of AUTHENTIC Italian sausage, in the heart of INGLEWOOD

Chef Chris Shafton slices the tourtiere

Chris Shaften’s Winter Tourtière (makes two tourtières) Pâte Brisée Dough: 1 c. cold water 2 large eggs (room temperature) 4 c. pastry flour 3-1/2 t. salt 2 c. butter (room temperature)

Whisk the cold water and eggs together. Using the paddle attachment in a standing mixer, beat together salt, flour and butter, until smooth and whipped looking. Reduce the speed to low, slowly pour in the water and egg and beat just until the dough comes together. Remove from mixing bowl, divide into four pieces and wrap with plastic wrap. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using.

Sprinkle 1/2 c. of flour onto the vegetables, stirring well to soak up all the excess fat in the pan. Then add the chicken stock and wine. Stir well and cook at a simmer over medium heat, covered, stirring often, for 15 minutes. This will try to stick to the bottom, so pay attention! (Chef note: This may need more or less flour depending on how thick it is. You want the consistency of a thick gravy.) Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the cooked pork belly, mustard and Brussels sprouts. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool. 6 T. whole black peppercorns 2 T. ground allspice 1 T. whole cloves

2 T. pork belly fat*

1 T. cinnamon bark, bashed

1 c. each diced onion and diced leek

Combine spices in a pepper mill and keep it for adding a rich, seasonal flavour to all of your winter dishes.

1/2 c. each diced carrots and diced celery 2 c. each diced red kuri or other squash, diced celeriac and diced potato 2 bay leaves 2 T. each minced garlic and minced ginger 4 T. unsalted butter 1/2 - 3/4 c. all-purpose flour 1-1/2 c. chicken stock 1/4 c. white wine 1/2 lb. pork belly, cooked and diced (*fat reserved) 1/4 c. grainy mustard 2 c. Brussels sprouts, halved and sliced 1/4-inch thick salt and pepper to taste

Place the reserved pork belly fat in a large, deep pan along with the onions and leeks. Add a pinch of salt, turn to medium heat and cook until softened, approximately 5 minutes. Add the raw pork belly to the pan along with the carrots, celery, squash, celeriac, potato and and bay leaves. Simmer until the vegetables are almost soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook another 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the butter and stir it in.

wholesale & Retail • 1308 9th ave. se • 403.264.6452

Winter Spice Blend

Tourtière Filling:

1/4 c. diced raw pork belly

Quality meats, natural spices and Old-World recipes. That’s authentic Italian.

Assembling the tourtière: Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter the inside of two 9-inch springform pans. On a floured surface, roll two rounds of dough out to approximately 1/2 inch thick. Carefully place the dough into the pans, pressing along the bottom and sides to cover evenly. Brush dough with egg wash (1 egg whisked with a bit of water).

Don't forget this food group...

Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank The Calgary Food Bank is able to feed thousands of people each year because of the generosity and assistance it receives from Calgarians. Help comes to us in many forms – volunteer hours, food, cash or in-kind donations – and all are appreciated.


Add the cooled filling so it fills to the top of the pan. Roll out the other two portions of dough to the same thickness. Place on top of the pans and crimp to the sides of the filled pastry. Trim all excess dough along the sides. (You can use the trimmings to roll out and shape into a pastry garnish for the top of the tourtières.) Beat 1 whole egg in a small bowl and brush the top of the tourtières to give them a nice sheen. Grind the winter spice blend generously overtop of the tourtières and bake them for 40 minutes, or until beautifully golden brown on top. If you don’t need both tourtières, you can freeze one. Let cool for 20-30 minutes before serving. Serves 5 to 6. ✤ Dan Clapson writes a food blog,



V a l e n t i n e ’ s

D a y :

Roman Good Times by Karen Ralph

I’m not proud of it, but Valentine’s Day brings out the worst in me. I resent the pressure to be part of a couple doing couple-y things, trying to have a perfect romantic day. Valentine’s celebrations often seem like a testament to bad romance rather than a Bacchanalian revel. Instead of wild sex and drunken good times, we get desperation and resentment. Sitting in front of an overpriced set menu quaffing “champagne” poured by perspiring servers is nobody’s idea of a good time. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be showered with flowers, chocolates, dinner and lots of rosé champagne. Just because I said that nothing kills romance faster than trying to have the perfect romantic day on the one day of the year designated to be romantically perfect, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. This has caused a lot of confusion and frustration for boyfriend Ribsy. One day, when were talking about my negative feelings about February 14, in the spirit of camaraderie, he enthusiastically agreed that Valentine’s Day is a total sham, an occasion probably invented by card makers and candy mongers to increase sales. Perversely, I was personally offended and instead of being smugly united in our mutual dislike of Valentine's Day, suddenly I was defending it! Didn’t he love me? Getting flowers on February 15 wasn’t commendably thrifty, it was insulting. Just because everyone else was out buying tokens of affection, wine and dinner didn’t mean we shouldn’t join them. Any day that encourages eating chocolate, liberally quaffing bubbles and having dinner together should be embraced. I would even shave my legs and paint my toenails! After a decade of togetherness, Ribsy should have known what I meant. The thought of Cupid might seem stupid but I still wanted the treats! The next day, when we had calmed down, Ribsy asked where I wanted to go on Valentine’s Day. The fact that he was willing to do it regardless of how much he hated the idea was almost enough for me to abandon my dream. However, you can’t cram a year’s worth of love and affection into 24 hours and not expect something to go wrong. And so, February 14, phone in one hand and wallet in the other, Ribsy found himself panicked, buying flowers and chocolates while trying to book a dinner reservation for the busiest night of the year while I trolled the aisles of the local wine store on a quest for pink champagne. If we stayed home, I thought, at least we would drink like royalty. Going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day is survival of the fittest. Like wild salmon swimming upstream to spawn, you have to be determined. Those who manage to get a reservation at the restaurant of their choice will pass on their genes and future generations will instinctively know how to get the best table at any restaurant. Natural selection will take care of the rest of us.



Ribsy and I like to pretend that we exist at the top of the food chain as humans are supposed to do, but on Valentine’s Day it becomes clear that at our age, our skills don’t make the grade. We’d procrastinated on making our arrangements for so long that we had to choose plan B – stay home. It was an excellent idea; we drank pink champagne, ate rich, buttery seafood and enjoyed each other's company. If Valentine’s Day seems a little dysfunctional, it comes by that quality honestly. A candy-scented cloud of pink and red has obscured the dark side of the original mid-February festival, which started around A.D. 270. This was a day based on betrayal, murder, attempted infanticide, abandonment, inter-species child-care, broken vows, infidelity and murderous sibling rivalry, thanks to executed saints and feuding brothers. The Romans were on a rampage and marriage had been banned by Emperor Claudius II because it interfered with the ability to be a good soldier. Saint Valentine refused to stop marrying people, so Claudius had him executed. Before he was put to death for his insubordination, he wrote a love letter to his jailer’s daughter and legend says that he signed it From Your Valentine. We still do this on Valentine's Day. By the middle ages Saint Valentine’s legend had made him an icon of romance. Shortly after his death, the Romans started to celebrate a pagan fertility festival called Lupercalia honouring the founders of ancient Rome, twin brothers, Romulus and Remus. Their mother was a Vestal Virgin forced into a life of chastity by her uncle Amulius. Her sons were fathered either by Mars, the god of war, or Hercules, son of Zeus. Amulius tried to kill the babies by leaving them by the river, but a wolf saved them, and a woodpecker fed them. They were eventually brought back to Rome and proved to be fierce warriors and great leaders, but never found out who their fathers were. Romulus eventually killed Remus in a battle over Rome before dying mysteriously himself. The Romans liked to start their festivities in the morning, marking the day Saint Valentine died in the cave where Romulus and Remus were nursed by the wolf. Priests would sacrifice a goat, soak strips of its hide in blood, and walk around town smacking the local women with the bloody strips to ensure the fertility of the local population. The day concluded with feasting, drinking and men running naked to impress the ladies. The women would place their names in an urn for the chance to spend one year with whichever bachelor drew it. According to legend, the bachelor lottery resulted in many marriages. The festival was eventually Christian-ized and called Saint Valentine’s Day to replace the pagan aspects with the worship of a Saint who, in addition to defying the Emperor on marriage, had also helped Christians escape Roman prisons. All of this makes me grateful for the modernizing of an ancient celebration. The essence of the original day remains; we still want to meet someone and go out and eat and drink with them. If men want to run around nude to impress us, it’s probably best done in the privacy of our own homes. But we don’t have to worry about getting smacked by a blood-covered goat hide while out shopping, being ruled by demi-gods raised by wolves, or having a lazy, ugly bachelor draw our name at the annual Valentine’s lottery. If our most pressing concern is what kind of wine we’d like to drink, what we should eat with it, and how we want to celebrate, regardless of relationship status, we really are at the top of the food chain. Love requires care and upkeep; don’t neglect it. There are 365 days in a year to let those around you feel the love. This year Ribsy and I will stay in, drink champagne, eat something decadent and remind ourselves through little acts of love and kindness to simply, genuinely enjoy each other’s company all year long. ✤ Karen Ralph works at Metrovino and is occasionally known as Red Wine Tongue. She is the co-author of the forthcoming Calgary Cooks.

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The Prairie Regional Barista Competition story and photos by Shelley Boettcher

I thought I was on a search for the perfect cup of coffee. Surely, at the Prairie Regional Barista Competition, someone would know how to teach me the finer points of coffee brewing, the tricks of the trade that I need to make a flawless cup of joe at home. Or maybe not. I attended the competition last August in Red Deer, an hour and a half north of Calgary. I watched the winners, and, the following day, I went back again to the barista workshop, a full-day course for professional baristas on how to make better coffee. By the time I left, I realized that the more I learn about coffee, the less I actually know. Turns out that’s a good thing, according to Phil Robertson, one half of the Calgary coffee legends behind Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters. He wasn’t competing in the event, but members of his team were. And the perfect cup? Not possible, he says. “If we made a perfect cup of coffee, we’d have to stop,” says Robertson. “We have dedicated our lives to understanding the complexity behind coffee. That search for perfection is what keeps us going and motivated and striving.” But anyone can learn to make a better cup of coffee, whether they’re a barista champ wannabe, or simply a coffee nut at home in the kitchen. And you don’t have to own a coffee shop, or even work in one, to compete at the Prairie Regional Barista Competition – “Although it’s highly encouraged to avoid embarrassment,” says Sebastian Sztabzyb, co-owner of Phil & Sebastian’s. You just have to have courage and the belief that you can pull a great espresso, and then explain to a team of judges why and how you did it. “The more people compete, the better the industry gets,” says Jeremy Ho, winner of last year’s Canadian Barista Championship and a barista at Phil & Sebastian. “Plus, competing forces you to evaluate what you do. You have to practice, and find ways to improve your technique. You have to master the equipment, too: your burr grinder and espresso machine, your neighbourhood coffee shop’s machine and beyond.”

Tips from the Prairie Regional Barista Competition The 2012 Canadian champ, Jeremy Ho, who works at Phil & Sebastian, and Josh Hockin, director of coffee at Edmonton’s Transcend Coffee, hosted a barista workshop as part of the Prairie Regional Barista Competition. These are three of their tips on how to improve your coffee’s quality, whether you work in a shop or make your java at home: • “Clean your machine every time,” says Hockin. “If it doesn’t work, it’s almost always you. Not the coffee. Not the grinder.” • Tamp, or press, your grinds into the portafilter basket firmly and evenly…but don’t pound them in. “If you have a basket that’s jampacked, you might not get enough water through it,” says Hockin. Under-extracted coffee can be harsh and acidic. • “Be as consistent as possible,” says Ho. “And measure your coffee, and your coffee-water ratio.” Every time you change something – beans, milk, water, even the temperature of your machine – you change your coffee’s flavour profile. That may be good… or bad.

“Every machine works a little differently,” Robertson says. “How do you overcome all those idiosyncrasies to make it all work well?”

 Calgary’s own Ben Put, of Phil & Sebastian, is this year’s Canadian Barista Champion. Put scored way ahead of second place, scooped by another Calgarian, Cole Torode of Caffè Rosso. To hone his skills, Put competes as often as he can – his national win this year was his 15th competition. To focus on game day, he listens to music on his iPhone – American jazz pianist Robert Glasper is a favourite. Put also visualizes his success, even when he isn’t pulling shots. “The day before my win, I had made 10 mistakes in my presentation, so I went over my 10 mistakes again and again in my head until I could get past them.” He invests the time he needs to be the best he can be. Indeed, he started planning for this year’s event as soon as last year’s competition ended. “It’s not that I have a special ability to make espresso,” he says. “I just put a lot of time and hard work and thought into what I want to present.” Perfection may be impossible, true, but a top barista knows that practice helps to ensure success.

Canada’s best baristas come from Calgary... • Ben Put, from Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters, placed first at the Prairie Regional Barista Competition in Red Deer, and then placed first at the Canadian Barista Championship in Vancouver. The national win means Put will next compete at the World Barista Championship in June 2014 in Rimini, Italy. • Caffe Rosso’s Cole Torode placed second at the Canadian Barista Competition this year. ✤

Shelley Boettcher is a Calgary food and wine writer whose third edition of Uncorked: The Definitive Guide to Alberta’s Best Wines Under $25, written with Darren Oleksyn, is out.



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back from dubai with a victory!

n Our Canadian team – captained by chef Michael Noble – took second place in both the cold buffet and dessert competitions in the Dubai World Hospitality Championships in November. Yay, team! One of the items on the cold buffet was a gorgeous foie gras terrine served with a cherry and beet relish – Oh My God good.

Refined Craftsmanship & Tradition You can find it on NOtaBLE’s menu through the first week in January under this heading: Mosaic of Rougie Foie Gras, Braised Oxtail, Cherry and Beet Relish. It was a prize winner in Dubai, so you need to try it.

restaurant ramblings I

n We always knew it was excellent, and now all of Canada and the world knows about Carino Japanese Bistro, number 6 in enRoute’s best new restaurants 2013. As the write-up says: “Let’s toast the brilliant mind that devised a Japanese-Italian wine bar that defies logic in the most wonderful ways.” Amen to that, and the toast and thanks go to our friend and Carino’s owner, Toshi Karino. n Put this on your calendar for February – it’s fun, romantic, spicily erotic, and delicious. Each year, the Erotic Valentine’s Dinner menu at PaSu Farm, features various foods creatively assembled to resemble our erotic body parts. One year we started with oysters on the half shell followed by a spicy, smooth yam soup spiked with Indian spices to get the endorphins charged. Then, Venus presented her jewel and Jupiter his lance. If you like to have fun with your food, make sure this dinner is on your radar. Visit for details. PaSu owner Patrick de Rosemond says it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but if it’s yours, reserve soon for either February 8 or 15.



n Joining Dairy Lane Café and Blue Star Diner as participants in the Mealshare program are nine Calgary restaurants: Brava Bistro, Open Range, Big Fish, The Fine Diner, River Café, Smugglers Inn, Tango Bistro, Open Sesame and Bolero. The Mealshare program has gone from four partner restaurants in July to 25 across Western Canada. When you order a dish identified by the Mealshare logo on participating restaurants’ menus, Mealshare provides a meal for someone in need. Mealshare makes a positive impact on the community – you can find out all about it at, where you can find Mealshare restaurant partners in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. n If you’re a tequila fan and haven’t had a tequila dinner at Añejo Restaurant, sign up for the one on February 17. Enjoy a five-course dinner paired with Mexico’s great Herradura tequilas. It’s a lively night and an opportunity to learn more about this increasingly popular spirit. Reserve at 587-353-2656. Get a taste of the world’s most expensive tequila, Ley .925, made of white gold encrusted with diamonds. El Amo Distilleries was chosen to create the tequila that would go into that bottle because of its reputation for quality and tradition. A replica bottle is available for viewing and tasting at Añejo during Halfy Hour, 3 to 5 daily, when all tequilas and tacos are half price. It will be an expensive taste, even at half price, but it may be the best taste you ever have! n The Great Events Group will take over ownership of the restaurant and Annie’s Bakery at Bow Valley Ranche in Fish Creek Park effective January 1. The location will re-open under the name Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant. Built more than 100 years ago by William Roper Hull, the restaurant will be re-vitalized to its original turn-of-thecentury grandeur. The new menu, created by executive chef Daryl Kerr, will feature Alberta and Canadian regional dishes. The restaurant will also serve award-winning wines and specialty spirits with a sommelier on site to provide expert pairings. Besides a full-service restaurant, there will be four meeting rooms and an outdoor tent next to the gardens for private functions as well as corporate events. On February 14, Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant will host a special Valentine’s Dinner featuring wine pairings and decadent desserts. For menu details visit Reservations can be booked at 403-476-1410. Annie’s Bakery will re-open in the early spring, serving fresh baked goods, specialty coffee and ice cream.

n Cravings Market Restaurant will serve Valentine’s Day specials on February 14 in addition to the regular menu. To book, call 403-252-2083 or email n Slurp your ramen downtown at Goro + Gunn, Calgary’s first largescale modern noodle bar, a new joint partnership between Concorde Group managing partner Ken McDonald and chef Tomohiro Mitsuno. Modeled after the popular ramen bars of Japan, Goro + Gun will bring an energetic slurping experience to downtown Calgary. While it’s the bowls of Hakata-style ramen that will entice diners through the door, a selection of Japanese BBQ and sushi favourites complemented by a full-scale sake program will make it an everyday favourite. It’s set to open in the former space of West Restaurant and Bar’s +15 level. Stay connected to the slurp buzz by following @goroandgun on Twitter. n Il Sogno presents a Caymus Winery Dinner, January 31. Enjoy a four-course dinner with wine pairings, 6:30 p.m., $125. Reserve at 403-232-8901 to book or e mail n Check out the new, updated website at for daily food specials and the great selection of draft beers at Three Crowns Pub. Don’t miss “Wined up Tuesdays” for $20 premium bottles of wine. n Don’t miss cask beer night at The Libertine Public House. The Libertine partners with a local brewery to bring a custom-brewed cask beer once a month. On January 9, it’s Wild Rose Brewery. On February 13, it’s Alley Kat Brewing. Quantities are limited, book at Look for a new menu from chef Melanie Lafleur with a tasting on Thursday, February 20. n At Rush Restaurant, 3 - 6 p.m. is Rush Hour every weekday. Features include freshly shucked oysters, Rush sushi, feature cocktails, and wines. Rush is closed for renos, reopening in February with a new look, new concept and new name – Rush Ocean Prime. Check it out! n At Redwater Rustic Grille, every Tuesday is $20 Wine Tuesday offering select premium bottles from the cellar for just $20. At the Bow Valley location, 3 - 6 p.m. is Happy Hour weekdays, including $7 appies and $1 off drink features; go for Sunday brunch at the Aspen location, 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. n At Bookers BBQ & Crab Shack, new southern menu items include Fried Green Tomatoes, Crab & Shrimp Boil, Fried Bologna Sandwich, and Big Ass Potato. Join the annual Mardi Gras parties the weekends of March 1/2 and 8/9. Live rock, blues and funk music Friday and Saturday nights at 9 p.m. n Going to a Flames game? Dine at Vintage Chop House before home games and receive complimentary shuttle service to and from the Saddledome. Live rock, blues, and jazz Friday and Saturday nights at 10 p.m.

n Enjoy a taste of Italy at Mission’s newest eatery, Bocce, opening in March. Inspired by the traditional recipes of Mercato matriarch, mamma Cathy, Bocce will offer diners a selection of Italian classics, salads, pasta and pizza served in a fun and vibrant atmosphere. Whether it’s pasta for the family or a quick pizza and a glass of red before the game, Bocce is Calgary’s new Italian word for delicious. n Valentine’s Day at Boxwood is one of two days of the year that you can make a reservation for a casual, wholesome and spontaneous romantic dinner. River Café reopens February 1 after being closed in January, so plan ahead for your Valentine’s Day celebration, it fills up fast. Reserve online at If you’re knocking around in January wondering what to do with yourself, you could head to Mexico for a Culinary Weekend in Punta Mita with River Café chef Andrew Winfield and owner Sal Howell. The weekend package includes dinner, accommodations, golf or tennis, and spa treatments at the Apuane Spa. Details at

wine wanderings n Winefest Calgary is back to spoil your senses! This annual event is a great opportunity for you to “try before you buy” in a casual, fun atmosphere – every sip and sample is included in the ticket price. Wine experts are available to share their knowledge, providing tasting notes while educating your palate and senses. And there’s great food to sample too. All this at Stampede Park BMO Centre, February 21 and 22. Check out the new app in your app store by searching for “Winefest.” Visit for all the details and for tickets. n Metrovino tastings: The Beautiful North: Metrovino Style, January 16, $60; Bacchus for Beginners (Wine Basics), January 30, $35; Metrovino Artist Series, February 6, $50; 50 Shades of Red, February 12, $60; Bacchus for Beginners (Wine Basics), February 20, $35; MF Richter: A Vertical Tasting, February 27, $100; Much Depends on Dinner: Food + Wine, March 6, $65; Italian Icons, March 7, $65; The Young and the Restless, March 13, $60; Bacchus for Beginners (Wine Basics), March 20, $35; Brave New World, March 26, $65. Visit or phone (403) 2053356 for info or to register. n Metrovino and Vision Travel will host an evening with Richard Harvey, Jenni Evans and Ellen Kelly, featuring fine wines from the Burgundy and Provence regions of France and exploring wine river cruises in Europe, February 13, at 6:30 p.m. at Metrovino, 722 - 11th Ave., SW. Register online at or contact jenni. or at 403-777-0735.

n The Cellar tastings: Brunello di Montalcino, January 15, $75, six different producers; Bordeaux, For The Love Of The Chateau, January 29, $75, the most prosperous and largest wine producing region in France; The Sweet and the Sparkling, February 14, $65, get a couple of tickets to this sweet wine tasting for you and your sweetheart. Try a variety of sweet and sparkling wines with desserts paired to match – the rest of the romance is up to you! Wine 101, February 26, $45, our popular introduction to the world of wine for the New Year. Visit for details and to register.

Your new secret ingredient.

n J. Webb tastings: Big & Bold Reds, January 15, $59; Scotch Whisky, Family Style, January 16/February 27, $50; California vs. France, January 23, $59; Robbie Burns Night, January 25, $75; The Straight Bull on Spanish Wines, January 30, $50; Italian Wine, Italian Food 2.0, February 5, $59; Over the Top Hop, February 6, $35; Romanza!, February 13, $49; Beers of the Pacific Northwest, February 20, $35; French Wine, French Food, February 26, $59. Visit for details or call 403253-9463 to purchase tickets.

cooking classes n At SAIT’s Downtown Culinary Campus: Knife Skills, January 8; Intro to Cooking, January 13; Soups and Stocks, January 15; Buttercream Basics, January 18; Sauces, January 22; Date Night, January 24; Chocolate, February 1; Cupcakes, February 8; Date Night Valentine’s, February 14; Knife Skills 2, February 24. For a full course listing, visit n Don’t miss out on Poppy Innovations’ Edible Education! Parent and Child Culinary Class. Create great nutritious meals with your kids, for one parent and kids aged 10 and over. When they are involved, kids are more likely to eat what’s made. Learn to make tasty, healthy meals with a series of six classes, or have a fun-filled evening with Cook with Your Kids Night. Visit for details. n At The Compleat Cook: small group cooking classes featuring Calgary chefs – A New Start, Holistic Nutrition; Hearty Soups & Stews; Coffee Desserts; My Indian Kitchen, Vegetarian; Rajun Cajun; Friday Night Date Night, Thailand; The Green Mile; Fish & Seafood Fundamentals; Greek Sweets; My Indian Kitchen, Chicken; Middle Eastern Street Food; Cooking with Grains, Sweet & Savoury. For all the tasty details, visit or phone 403-253-4831. n At Meez Cuisine: cooking classes and team building in the kitchen working with chefs to create a menu tailored to you – gluten-free, Italian, authentic French… whatever your wish. Everything is ready for you, all you need to do is show up and get

Calgary’s freshest olive oil and premium balsamic vinegars.


8561 8a Avenue SW

continued on page 50 CITY JANUARY FEBRUARY 2014


Stockpot continued from page 49 ready for hands-on instruction from our chef. Celebrate an anniversary or birthday, get some couples together for a fabulous date night, or bring your colleagues into the kitchen and let the fun begin! Call 403-640-3663 or visit for all the details. n At The Cookbook Co. Cooks: A Night Out: A Couples Cooking Class; Bread Making (Two-Day Workshop), Thai Classics; Alice Eats with Pierre Lamielle and Julie Van Rosendaal; Gluten-Free Gourmet Club; Global Kitchen: Vietnamese Cooking; Sushi Making; Culinary Boot Camp Just For Men; Perfecting Paella; Seasonally Inspired Food From Teatro; Mexican Made Easy; A Turkish Feast; Duck: Bill to Tail Eating; Molecular Cocktails and Accompanying Bites; Kids’ Cooking Class; Cooking with Ancient Grains: A Gluten-Free Class; A Moroccan Feast;

Native Tongues Taqueria: A Taco Party. Phone 403-265-6066 to book, visit for a complete class schedule.

general stirrings Big Taste, Calgary’s Dining Festival, is back to tickle your taste buds, March 7 to 16. Foodies are ready to rise again with open mouths for another helping of revolutionary cuisine. Calgary chefs will meet foodie demands with new culinary creations, multi-course meals and set-menu dining for the Big Taste. It lasts 10 days and involves more than 80 restaurants. Sign up now on to be the first to hear about all the great culinary events and participating restaurants. n Inspirati Fine Linens will open in a new location in the Maxwell Bates Block Building, #120, 2207 - 4 Street S.W. in the Mission district in January,

with Phil & Sebastian and the new Mercato group restaurant, Bocce, as neighbours. n Join Jenni Evans of Viking River Cruises for an evening exploring wine and river cruising, February 5 at a Calgary Downtown location. RSVP to Jenni at 403-777-0735 or at n The 2nd Annual Taste of Bragg Creek takes place February 28 at the Bragg Creek Community Centre, 23 White Ave, 5 - 9 p.m. Taste the delicious flavours of the restaurants, chefs and merchants – such as the Bavarian Inn, The Italian Farmhouse Ristorante, Cinnamon Spoon, Sugar Shake Bakery, Mountain Bistro & Pizzeria, Creekers Liquor, The Powderhorn Saloon and Giuseppe Piruzza, personal chef. Free admission and parking, tasting coupons are $1.50 available at the door or for pre-purchase. Visit for all the tasty details. Don’t miss it! n Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts (CRMR) has won the Business of the Year award for the 2013 Canadian Tourism Awards presented by The Toronto Star and Visa Canada. The Air Canada Business of the Year Award is presented to a tourism business that exemplifies industry best practices in all aspects of its operations, an example of all-round business excellence in the tourism industry. CRMR operates upscale lodges, a game ranch, CRMR at Home, Bin 905, Panino Bakery and and Bar C, Divino, Cilantro and The Ranche restaurants. Congratulations to Pat and Connie O’Connor, the brains and energy behind CRMR.


Executive Chef Katsuyuki Sekihata 208 17 Ave SE Calgary 403-263-0848



n The Calgary Academy of Chefs and Cooks teamed up with Community Kitchens to provide a hot lunch to 300 Bowcroft School students on November 1. The event was for International Chefs Day. Thanks to Saffron Personal Chef for the use of their kitchen and Stampede Park Catering. The Christmas dinner at Spruce Meadows collected food for veterans. n Find delicious gluten-free cupcakes made by Cookie Mama in Inglewood at Market 17 in Casel Marché. You’ll probably find them at Cookie Mama too! n Made by Marcus goodies will keep you good company in the dead of winter. Colourful, flavourful macarons, about the best ice cream you’ll ever eat, ice cream sandwiches, and freezer-tooven chocolate chip cookie dough work their magic on cozy winter evenings. Find them at Blush Lane, deVille Coffee, The Cookbook Co. and Janice Beaton Fine Cheese. n On the savoury front for cozy winter evenings, Janice Beaton Fine Cheese has a tasty house-made chicken/goose liver pâté, fondue makings, complete with recipe, and a trio of house-made condiments – something for every cheese. So much to snuggle up to!

n A sure-fire warm-u p in the dead of winter – Shef’s Fiery Kitchen offers a great deal on frozen heat-and-serve Indian and Thai curries for the month of January at the Calgary Farmers’ Market. Buy two curries, and get the third for half price. These gluten-free curries made from locally sourced ingredients make convenient and tasty dinner options for your family. Spoil your Valentine with a romantic candlelight dinner at home. Visit Shef’s Fiery Kitchen at the Calgary Farmers’ Market and get a whole tandoori chicken cooked to perfection by tandoor master, Haroon, accompanied by fresh naan, cucumber-yogurt raita, and onion salad for $28.50. To order, phone Sharon at 403-975-2475. n Who doesn’t love great chocolate on Valentine’s Day – or ANY day of the year? Seduce your Valentine with a milk or dark chocolate heart filled with traditional hand-made chocolates from Cococo Chocolatiers, owners of Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut. And you can find these at 12 locations in Calgary, including Bankers Hall. You can watch Cococo’s flood story, a glimpse of operations post-flood at n The Calgary Home + Garden Show for your home improvement projects, takes place February 27 to March 2 at the BMO Centre Stampede Park. With big names like Bryan Baeulmer, host of HGTV’s Leave it to Bryan, and other top authorities, plus more than 650 exhibitors and new, exciting features, there’s real advice, inspiration and experts at every turn. Tickets at n Poppy Innovations has garden plots for rent at the De Winton Garden Club. Don’t have space for a vegetable garden? Don’t know how or just want to meet other gardeners? These fully managed garden plots are offered along with educational support to cultivate your potential! Need help with your own veggie patch? Poppy Innovations can come to you. n Join Edmonton Journal food columnist Liane Faulder on an eight-day food tour of Barcelona and Catalonia from March 22 to 30. The package, Tapas and Gaudi, includes eight nights’ accommodation with daily breakfast, most other meals, plus visits to foodand wine-focused locales. For details, contact Giovanni Varano of the Foreign Trade Development Agency, e-mail: or phone 403-383-6197. n Join tourmeister Gail Hall on her Seasoned Solutions Culinary Tour of Vietnam, March 1 to 14, and/or the Culinary Tour of Piedmont and Burgundy, October 11 to 22, with optional extension to attend the Slow Food event in Torino, Italy. For the itineraries go to, phone 780-437-0761 or email gail@

n The Light Cellar Superfood & Superherb Teaching Kitchen, the Winter/Spring 2014 season. Upgrade and positively change your life across a spectrum of topics, including Raw Chocolate Making, Fermented Drinks, Bone Broths, MMS Water Purification, Shen Tonic Sleeping Secrets, Women’s Elixir Crafting, Superfoods, Aphrodisiacs, Nerivines, Traditional Foods and more. For details and to register online, visit or phone 403-4531343, 6326 Bowness Road NW. n Amaranth’s tag line, “your local health food store,” might just be true, if you live in the Beltline or Mission areas. Amaranth 4th Street Market at 1407 - 4th St. SW, is now open. This vibrant market offers organic produce, specialty groceries, local breads, dairy and other farmed goods, natural body care and premium supplements, vitamins and remedies. Visit the Amaranth blog for an extra culinary treat. n Calgary Confections specializes in custom sugar cookies for all occasions. Classroom sets for birthdays and holidays, variety platters for parties, boxed sets for gifts. You can even have your business card or corporate logo printed on a cookie. Check or contact

n Elevate Auctions is a team of people that knows its way around fundraising. They find ways to help you raise more money, and to ensure that success, they are always on the lookout for unique items and experiences for the numerous auctions they service, and look for local businesses and organizations to partner with. More information at n Okanagan Food & Wine Writers’ Workshop takes place in Kelowna at The Cove Lakeside Resort, May 9-11. Visit for all the details. C l ar if ic at ions : In the November December issue of City Palate, in “Eat This,” a recipe for making you own pomander calls for orris root that says you can find it at Community Natural Foods. It once could be, but it isn’t available there now. However, you can find orris root at Silk Road Spice Merchants. In the November December issue of City Palate, in “Hope Springs Eternal in Southern Alberta,” we said that Hubert Aumeier was a former owner of Valbella Meats. He was briefly an owner/ partner in the business with founder and owner Walter von Rotz, who started the business in 1978.

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last meal Many cultures – most notably the Brits – have embraced the meat pie as a traditional staple, but the tourtière is one of a handful of dishes that are uniquely Canadian. This Quebecois treat is traditionally a simple mixture of ground pork and onion seasoned with clove and nutmeg and baked in a standard pie crust. The beauty of this dish is that it is easily mucked with to include other meats (a great use for leftovers) such as turkey (especially the dark meat), beef or lamb. You can add diced potatoes, parsnips, celery root and carrots, not to mention Indian spices and smoked paprika, for example. A good pie crust is essential to tourtière, and for many cooks is something that takes years to perfect. I have included the one I use all the time for both sweet and savoury pies – make sure you keep everything cool when making the pastry and don’t overwork it. Tourtière is typically served with garnishes that include cornichons and mustards, perhaps with crisp green beans or a green salad. I have included a Brussels sprout salad that I created based on the one I sampled recently at Redd Wood in the Napa Valley, a great winter salad if ever there was one. For afters, I’ve created a polenta almond cake that gets a citrus and blueberry lift and is wheat free.

Warm Brussels Sprout Salad Vinaigrette: 1 T. red wine vinegar 3 T. high quality olive oil 1 T. grainy Dijon mustard 1 T. maple syrup sea salt and pepper to taste

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Duck and Chicken Tourtière

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

This recipe calls for uncooked duck and chicken, which get pre-cooked prior to assembling the tourtière. If they are a little underdone that is fine (duck should always be medium rare, and closer to rare for this recipe). If you use other cooked leftover meats you will want to dice them and add them to the cooked vegetable mixture. Chop all the vegetables into 1/4-inch dice for texture and even cooking. The pie crust should be made first and can be done the day before.

2 T. olive oil for frying 5 oz. pancetta (or bacon) cut into 1/4-inch dice 1 ball of burrata, fior de latte or bocconcini, torn or chopped into small pieces 1 handful home-made croutons 1 head of frisée (you can substitute with other slightly bitter greens) 1 large tart crisp apple, skin on, julienned To make the vinaigrette, add the vinegar to a large bowl and whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream to emulsify. Add the mustard and maple syrup and season with salt and pepper to taste, then whisk. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the Brussels sprouts for a couple of minutes, then drain them and plunge them into an ice bath. Once they are completely cool, drain them well and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil, then add the pancetta and fry until it just starts to get crisp. Add the Brussels sprouts, flat- side-down, and reduce heat to medium. Cook them for about 5 minutes until they take on colour and start to caramelize. Toss them around in the pan a bit and remove from heat. Transfer them to the bowl with the vinaigrette, add the cheese and toss – you want the heat from the Brussels sprouts to melt the cheese slightly – then add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Serve warm. Serves 4-6. You can serve a full-bodied white wine with this dish or a lighter-bodied red.



Pie crust: 2-1/2 c. unbleached white flour 1-1/2 sticks (3/4 c.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1/4 c. cold lard 1/2 t. salt 7 T. ice water Blend together flour, butter, lard and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) until most of mixture resembles coarse meal, with the rest in small (roughly pea-size) lumps. Drizzle the ice water evenly over and gently stir with a fork (or pulse in a food processor) until incorporated. Gently squeeze a small handful: it should hold together without falling apart. If it doesn’t, add one more tablespoon of water, stirring (or pulsing) until incorporated, continuing to test. (Do not overwork dough or it will become tough.) Turn out onto a work surface, and with the heel of your hand, smear dough once in a forward motion to help distribute fat. With a pastry scraper gather dough and form it, rotating on work surface, into a smooth disk and divide into 2 portions, forming discs again. Make one portion larger than the other, about a 60/40 split. The larger disc will be the base crust. Wrap disks separately in plastic wrap and chill, until firm, at least 1 hour.

Geoff Last

Keep it simple and seasonal Tourtière: 1 T. olive oil 2 boneless duck breasts, skin scored in a crosshatch pattern (try not to score the meat, just the skin) 1 large onion, diced 2 medium carrots, diced 2 large yellow potatoes, peeled and diced 1 lb. ground chicken (or turkey), preferably dark meat

Polenta Almond Blueberry Lemon Cake 3 sticks (3/4 lb.) unsalted butter, softened 1-1/2 c. sugar 1 lb. ground almonds 2 t. vanilla extract 6 large eggs 1/2 c. buttermilk zest of 3 lemons

1/2 c. dry white wine

zest of 1 large orange

1 T. flour

juice of 1 lemon

2 T. chopped fresh thyme

1 c. corn flour

1 T. chopped fresh sage

1/4 c. coarse polenta

salt and pepper to taste

1-1/2 t. baking powder

1 T. buttermilk (or cream)

1/4 t. salt

Warm the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet with steep sides (duck likes to splatter) and add the duck breasts, skin-side down. Sear them until the skin is golden brown, about 5 minutes, then flip them and cook for another two minutes. Remove the breasts from the pan and set aside. Duck breasts yield quite a bit of fat; leave about 3 T. in the pan and remove the rest (duck fat is excellent for roasting potatoes and keeps in the fridge for a month or more). When breasts are cool, remove the skin and chop the meat into rough 1/2-inch dice and set aside. I chop some of the skin up as well, but this is optional. The skin has a lot of flavour.

1 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)

Add the onions to the same pan and cook over low heat for 10 minutes until lightly golden, then add the carrots and potatoes and cook over mediumlow heat for about another 4 minutes. Add the ground chicken, breaking the meat up in the pan, and cook for a few minutes until no longer pink. Add the wine and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cooking for a few minutes more to reduce wine slightly. Stir in flour and cook for another minute, then transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add duck, thyme and sage, and season with salt and pepper. The filling can be chilled until you’re ready to cook the tourtière.

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Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 10-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper then butter and dust with flour. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and light. Stir in the ground almonds and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the buttermilk and beat to combine. Add the lemon and orange zest, lemon juice, corn flour, polenta, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Spoon two thirds of the mixture into the pan and scatter the blueberries over top, then add the remaining batter. Set cake on baking sheet (to catch any butter that may seep out) and bake for 60 minutes, and up to 70 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the cake is set. Remove it from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. After 10 minutes, run a thin knife around the perimeter of the pan, release and remove the sides and allow the cake to cool. Serve it warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Serves 10.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Remove the larger portion of dough from the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface until it is large enough to fill a deep-dish pie dish with about an inch of overhang. Place in the pie dish and roll out the smaller portion of dough, keeping in mind that the filling will be mounded so it will need to be slightly larger than the pie dish diameter. Add the tourtière filling and cover with the top half of the pastry. Fold the overhang over, trimming where necessary, and seal the crust. Brush the tourtière with buttermilk and bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375°F. and bake for another 40 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

Wine: There are plenty of options. The duck adds richness and a slight gaminess to the dish. A syrah/shiraz would be a good match as would a New World pinot noir with some weight and lots of fruit behind it. My choice – Ojai Santa Barbara Syrah 2010 - $36 Ojai wine maker and owner Adam Tolmach is one the pioneers along California’s south central coast and his wines are consistently excellent, displaying fine balance and vibrant fruit. This wine falls stylistically between Old and New World syrah, echoing flavours of the Rhone Valley – black pepper, garrigue – along with a hit of crushed berries and spice.



back burner

Allan Shewchuk

S h e w c huk on s i mm e r

Change of life?

Recently I’ve noticed that we don’t define other people based on their everyday behaviour, but on notable moments that might not represent their true selves. As children, it’s not unusual for us to get tagged with a nickname or description that we feel is unfair or unflattering and turns out to be impossible to shake. It may take just one incident. Just ask anyone who had the misfortune of accidentally wetting his or her pants in elementary school how much work it takes to shed what becomes “the book” on you, even though what happened was no fault of your own. It’s probably easier to just “get out of Dodge,” as they used to say, than to change your undeserved reputation. These impressions stick to you, even if they’re long in the past. I know this feeling only too well, since from my earliest schooldays, my peers have referred to me as the “Class Clown.” Admittedly, in my case, this wasn’t the result of an isolated incident, since being funny quickly became my defence mechanism for being a chubby nerd. Because I could tell jokes, imitate nearly anyone, especially teachers, and regurgitate entire episodes of Hogan’s Heroes (complete with General Burkhalter's voice), I didn’t get bullied at all. In fact, I was invited into the inner circle of popular, athletic and good-looking kids because I’d figured out how to make people laugh. So I didn’t mind being tagged as the Class Clown so much when I was young. It has, however, been a millstone that I’ve been unable to lose, no matter how serious my endeavours or accomplishments over the last 40 years. I admit that I don’t mind the childhood “clown” categorization as compared to the adult version, which morphs into being the “Life of the Party.” This, of course, has pre-baby boomer connotations of middle-aged men with lampshades on their heads, who’ve spent too much time dipping into the spiked punchbowl at the otherwise proper suburban neighbourhood New Year’s Eve party and make complete jackasses of themselves. I admit that when I get called the Life of the Party, some over-imbibing is in play, but I don’t really mean to be a source of everyone’s fun. Stuff just happens and my inner Class Clown re-emerges. I honestly wish I didn’t wake up after attending a wedding and have another guest shout across the hotel lobby, “Hey, man! It was so great when you got up and sang with the band! That was the best version of Louie Louie I’ve ever heard!” Oops. I’d prefer not to get an email after a reunion banquet saying “We all loved it when you stood on the table, dropped your tuxedo pants and showed everybody your hip replacement scar! You rock!” Double oops. Or the worst: “It was the highlight when you lit your dessert on fire! Hope your eyebrows grow back!” Triple oops. I was starting to get fatigued with being the Life of the Party because of the abnormally high expectations people started to have of me. You only have one set of eyebrows to light on fire, after all. So this holiday season I looked for role models I could emulate that were laid-back, aloof and sexy, and stayed out of the tabloids because of it. After much research, I decided to channel a combination of George Clooney and Cary Grant with a little bit of Tom Hanks thrown in, and I headed off to the first party. I was going to be cool, dammit – not a wallflower, but just plain cool to hang with. I was going to be the envy of all the other guys for being in total control, and sexy at the same time, not the guy whose antics were captured by everybody else’s Smartphones. It all went swimmingly at first. Then someone popped a bunch of champagne corks. Up until that point, I’m pretty sure I was the epitome of elegance. After quaffing all those bubbles, however, I confess that I wasn’t that crisp on how the evening ended. The next morning, I awoke to find my wife downloading the party photos on her iPad. “Boy, you sure had fun last night!” she said, laughing. The tips of my ears started to burn. I looked at the photos as the thumbnails popped up, one by one.

Help create more survivors.

In the early photos, I was cool as any cat could be. Then came a series of pictures with me looking all sweaty. The scrolling continued and, just like that, my tie was loosened. Shortly afterwards, I was up on a table, no doubt singing Louie Louie. The horror slide show ended with me in a group hug with the banquet staff at the hotel, with my sweaty face wearing a big smile like the Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo. It seemed that my attempt to not be the Life of the Party was an epic fail. Despite my channeling, I just couldn’t avoid my lifelong fate. I had aimed high to be George Clooney – but the best I could achieve was Rob Ford.




Allan Shewchuk is currently living in Florence, Italy where he spends his time equally between his Tuscan kitchen and the local wine store. The Italian economy may just rebound.




Cookware | Bakeware | Dinnerware | Accessories

City Palate January February 2014  

The Flavour of Calgary's Food Scene - Great Cheap Eats

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